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To which is prefixed an Account of 

Atheism^ Deism^ Theophilanthropism^ Jur 
daisMy Mahometanism and Christianity. 




With Corrections and Improvements, 

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace- 






THAT the Author is gratified by the 
repeated editions of this little work, on 
which he has bestowed many a laborious 
hour, it would be affectation in him to 
deny — ana ne flatters himself that the cir- 
culation of Twenty-five Thousand copies, 
(the number which has issued from the 
press) must contribute in some degree to 
extend the empire of religious knowledge 
and Christian charity. In the present im- 
pression he has attended carefully to re- 
cent communications, and where indivi- 
duals had sent confused and contradictory 
accounts of their own party, he has endea- 
voured to adjust their claims with impar- 


tiality. To obtain in all instances accurate 
information, is a task of almost insuperable 
difficulty. In many cases prejudice, pas- 
sion and interest, have multiplied religious 
differences to a degree, which excites both 
his grief and astonishment. But he is per- 
suaded that could the professors of Chris- 
tianity be once brought to listen candidly 
to each other's opinions — they would 
hot only be the less likely to be led away 
by the clamours of bigotry, but they 
would become more thoroughly disposed 
to keep the unify of fhc spirit in the bond 
9 f peace — 

Fountain of Being ! teach them to devote 
To thee each purpose, action, word and thought ; 
Tliy grace their hope — thy loue their only boast, 
Be all distinctions in—the Christian lost, 

Hannah More. 

The Author is pleased to find, that the 
Biographical Illustrations of the Frontis- 
piece, prove acceptable to young readers, 
who cannot be supposed to be better ac- 
quainted with the principal characters. 


than with the leading opinions of the re- 
ligious community. And some informa- 
tion however short, was thought to be in* 
teresting — of persons, who on account of 
their talents, learning and piety, have in 
a manner, given laws to the several dis- 
tricts of Christendom. Nor will it be im- 
proper just to mention, that the Reca- 
pitulatory Table at the end of the work, 
by being familiarised to the young mind 
has been found conducive to improve-? 

From a friend who has some time ago 
left Paris, the Author learns that the 
SJ<:etch is translated into the French and 
German languages, under the superinten- 
dence of Messrs. Vos and Co. celebrated 
booksellers at Leipsic. May its increasing 
circulation prove the means of diffusing a 
spirit of free enquiry — and of promoting 
the exercise of true liberality. '^ There is 
a somewhat^'^ says that able Defender of 


Revealed Religion, the present Bishop of 
ILandafF, '' in our common faith, in which 
ALL are agreed, and that somewhat is in my 
opinion a circumstance of such ineffable 
importance, that I will never refuse the 
right hand of fellowships to him who ac- 
knowledges its truth — never think or 
speak of him with disrespect, nor with true 
Pharisaical pride, esteem myself to be 
more orthodox, more acceptable to my 
Redeemer than he is, and that somewhat is 
Eternal Life^ the gift of God through 
Jesus Christ !'* 

And Mr. Jay of Bath, in his excellent 
Sermons, remarks that " the readiest way 
in the world to thin heaven, and replenish 
the regions of hell, is to call in the spirit of 
ligotry. This will immediately arraign 
and condemn, and execute all that do not 
bow down and worship the image of our 
idolatory. Possessing exclusive preroga- 
tives ; it rejects every other claim — 


♦< Stand by, I am sounder than thou. The 
temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord^ 
the temple of the Lord are we !" How 
many of the dead has this intolerance sen- 
fenced to eternal misery, who will shine 
like stars in the kingdom of onr Father ! — 
how many living characters do^s it not re- 
probate as enemies to the cross of Christy 
who are placing in it all their glory ! No 
wonder, if under the influence of this con^ 
suming zeal, we form lessening views of 
the number of the saved. I only am leff-^ 
yes^ they a^refew indeed if none belong to 
them, who do not belong to your party — 
that do not see with your eyes — that do 
not believe election with you, or universal 
redemption with you — that do not worship 
under a steeple with you, or in a meeting 
with you — that are not dipped w^ith you, 
or sprinkled with you ! But hereafter we 
shall find that the righteous were not so 
circumscribed ; when we shall see — many 
<oming from the east-i and from the ive^f^' 


fro7n the norths and from the souths to sit 
down with Abraham^ Isaac^ and Jacobs in 
the kingdom of heaven .^" Were these truly 
evangelical sentiments more prevalent 
^mong professors of every description, the 
ravages of infidelity would cease — Christ- 
ians themselves become more united, and 
rapid advances vy^ould be thus making 
towards their moral and religious improve* 

In this imperfect state to see just alike, 
with respect to the doctrines of revelation, 
is impossible ; though surely it is in the 
powder of every individual, acknowledging 
the divinity of the Saviour's mission, to 
cherish the kind and charitable disposition, 
for which he was eminently distinguished. 
Indeed, by the cultivation of this temper 
alone, we shall most effectually diffuse the 
triumphs of genuine Christianity. 

But the author having already fully 
atated ihe origin, nature, and design of 


this little publication in his Explanatory 
Dedication^ will only add — this animating 
consideration — that notwithstanding the 
jarrings and contentions of parties, for 
their several opinions and modes of wor- 
ship, which the subsequent pages attempt 
to pourtray, the Gospel of Jesus Christ 
undebased by the prejudices, and uncon- 
trouled by the passions of frail humanity, 
continues to operate like the great powers 
of nature, with a silent but irresistible en- 
ergy for the renovation of mankind. 




JOHN WICKLIFFE was born in the North 
of England about the year 1324, and educated at 
Oxford. He was the first person in this country 
who openly condemned the errors and corrupt 
tions of Popery. The Monks at the University 
excited his indignation ; but the Pope taking 
their part against him, he was obliged to give 
way and withdraw into the country. His 
place of retirement was Lutterworth in Leices- 
tershire, of which living he had for some time 
been in possession, and where part of his pulpit 
may be seen standing at this day. Here he con- 
tinued his opposition to the Romish Church with 
equal steadiness ; but had he not been patroniz- 
ed by the Duke of Lancaster, he must have 
fallen a victim to his fidelity. He died peace- 
ably in his bed at Lutterworth, in 1384, leaving 
behtiid him many followers. The chief of his 


works is entitled Trialogus, being a dialogue 
with three speakers — Truth, a Lie, and Wisdom! 
He wrote several things both in Latin and 
English, but this is almost the only work which 
was printed. Agreeable to a decree of the 
Council of Constance, held in 1416, his bones 
were dug up and burnt, his books forbidden, aud 
his memory branded- with the inost opprobrious 
heresy. But these empty fulminations served 
only to promote th^ glorious cause which 
WicklifFe espoused ; and hence he has obtained 
that honourable title, the Morning star of the 
Reformation! On this account it is, that his 
head stands j^rst among the Potraits prefixed to 
this publication. 

Martin Luther, born 1483, at Isleben, a 
town of Saxony, in Germany. After passing 
through the usual stages of education at one of 
their Universities, he entered the order of the 
Augustinian Monks. His learning was consid- 
erable, and his spirit unconquerable. Indul- 
gencies being sold by Leo the Xth in order to ob- 
tain money for the building of St. Peter's at 
Rome, Luther set his face against a measure so 
inimical to the interests of virtue and piety. An 
alarm therefore being sounded— the Romish 
Church was shaken to its foundation, and these 
convulsive throes terminated in the REFORMA- 
TION. But like Wickliffe the Reformer would 


have been frustrated in his attempt, had not some 
of the German Princes (particularly Frederick of 
Saxony) taken him under their protection. After 
having written many books, and exerted himself on 
various occasions with a wonderful intrepidity, Lu- 
ther died in the year 1546, lamented by his follow- 
ers^ and revered by the Protestant world. His tem- 
per, it must be confessed, was violent, but the 
times seem to have required such a disposition. 
He,4ndeed, appears to have been raised up by 
Providence for that stupendous work which he 

John Calvin was born at No3^on, in Picardy, 
1509 ; he received his education at Paris and 
other places where different branches of literature 
were taught with celebrity. Discovering early 
marks of piety, his father designed him for the 
church, and accordingly he was soon presented 
to a living near Noyon, the place of his nativity. 
He, however^ conceiving a dislike to the corrup- 
tions of Popery, quitted the Church, and turned 
his attention to the law. Visiting Paris, he made 
himself known to those who had privately em- 
braced the Reformation. But a persecution aris- 
ing against the Reformers, he went to Basil, 
where he published his famous work. Institu- 
tions of the Christian Religion, which spread 
abroad his fame, though, it is said, he v/as then 
desirous of living in obscurity. Not long after 

this he became Minister aud Professor of Di- 
vinity at Geneva. In this department he acquit- 
ted himself with ability, and was indefatigable 
in promoting the Reformation. He died in the 
year 1564, continuing to discharge the duties of 
his station to the last, with his usual fidelity. 
However great and even good he may be pro- 
nounced by his followers, who are numerous, his 
burning Servetus, a Spanish Physician, for writing 
against the doctrine of the Trinity, leaves a stain 
upon his memor}^ 

Richard Baxter, was born at Rowton, fff 

Shropshire, 1615, and falling into the hands of ig- 
norant schoolmasters, he enjoyed not the advan- 
tage of a regular education. Taking orders of 
the Bishop of Winchester, he became Minister of 
Kidderminster, where an uncommon degree of 
success attended his ministry, but the Civil Wars 
which broke out soon after his settlement at this 
place, sadly interrupted his labours. Upon the 
restoration of Charles the Second, he refused the 
Bishopric of Worcester, asking, indeed, for no 
favour but that of remaining at his beloved Kid- 
derminster, which was denied him. Upon the 
fatal Bartholomew act, he was silenced, with a 
large number of the Clergy, for refusing to con- 
form on certain conditions to the Church of Eng- 
land* From this period, to the time of his decease. 


he suffered the most vexatious persecutious, on 
account of his religious opinions, with a firm- 
ness which did honour to his piety. He was 
even tried before that barbarian JefferieSy who 
condemned him to a long and tedious imprison- 
ment. His publications were astonishingly nu- 
merous, for his Practical Works make four vo- 
lumes in folio. Bishop Burnet says, that ^^ he 
was his whole life long a. man of great zeal and 
much simplicity.'' 

WiLLlAN Penn was born in London, 1644; 
he was the son of Admiral Penn, who was great- 
ly offended with him for joining the Quakers ; 
but, previous to his death, he became recon- 
ciled to him. He suffered much on account 
of his religious sentiments, but adhered to 
them with/Stedfastness, His famous book. No 
CrosSf No Croxv7iy was written by him during 
his confinement in the Tower of London. He 
lived much of his time in Sussex, and acompani- 
ed George Fox and Robert Barclay, on a mission 
to Holland and Germany. In 1681, Charles the- 
Second, in lieu of arrears due to his Father, grant- 
ed him a province in North America, since called 
after him Pennsylvania. Thither he went, and 
having made the necessary improvements, gave 
just and wise laws to his new settlement. To his 
honour be it particularly noticed, that in his iegis- 
lative code, the sacred rights of conscience were 


left free and unfettered. In 1718, he died near 
Beaconsfield of a gradual decay, occasioned by 
apoplectic fits. His works are comprised in six 
volunDCs octavo^ and are in high esteem with the 
society to which he belonged ; the first volume 
contains his Biography. 

George Whitfield (founder of the. Calvinist 
Methodists) was born, 1714, at Glocester, where 
he received the usual school education, and then 
became Servitor of Pembroke College, Oxford, 
Having been ordained at the age of 21, he applied 
indefatigably to the duties of the ministry. The 
churches being shut against him, he preached to 
immense multitudes in the open fields ; for which 
he was fitted by his powerful elocution. He how- 
ever built two large places of worship in the me- 
tropolis for himself and followers, th^Jfabernacle^ 
Moorfields, and the Chapel, Tottenham Court 
Road. Such was his zeal and activity, that he 
several times visited the continent of America, 
where he closed his eyes in the year 1770, not 
far from Boston, in New England. The com- 
plaint of which he died was an asthma, brought 
on by excessive preaching. His works, in several 
octavo volumes, are made up of sermons and let- 
ters, but it was not from the press, but from the 
pulpit, that this wonderful man shone ; thence he 
made on his numerous followers extraordinary im- 


John Wesley (founder of the Arminian 
Methodists) was born at Epworth, 1703, educated 
at the charter-house, and m 1716 elected to 
Christ Church, Oxford. He however, m 1726, 
was chosen fellow of Lincoln College where the 
first methodist society was instituted. Like his 
associate, Mr. Whitfield, being excluded the 
churches, he preached in the open air, and visited 
America, as well as the West India Islands, 
where also he has many followers. He built a 
handsome Chapel in the City Road, opposite to 
Bunhill Fields ; and in the ground adjoining to 
the Chapel he lies interred under a neat tomb, 
with an inscription of some length, to his memory. 
He died at a very advanced age, in 1791, after a 
short illness deeply regretted by his extensive 
connections. His works are said to amount to 
thirty-two Octavo volumes, but it may be just 
mentioned that some of these are compilations, 
which he thought were favourable to the diffusion 
of knowledge among mankind. 

Elhanan Winchester (a popular preacher 
of the doctrine of the universal restoration) was 
born at Brooklyn, Massachusetts, North America, 
1761, but did not enjoy the advantages of an 
academical education. He was first of all a min- 
ister among the Calvinistic Baptists, by whon» 
he was caressed, till he embraced the universal 

doctrine, when he stood as it were alone, and 
preached it with astonishing success. He came 
over to England about the year 1787, where he 
preached a Series of lectures on the Prophecies 
remaining to be fulfilled, which he afterwards 
published. This indeed, and his Dialogues on 
Resiorationy are his principal publications. In the 
year 1794 he quitted England, where he had 
laboured with assiduity and left behind him a nu- 
merous congregation meeting in Parliament-court 
Bishopsgate Street which is still in a flourishing 
condition. He died at Hartford, in New England 
.1797, where suitable tokens of respect were paid 
to his memory* 




JOHN BRENT, Esq. Blackheath. 

AS a memorial of your friendship and patron- 
age, I take the liberty of dedicating to you, this 
Sketch of the Denominations of the Christian 
World. When its first outlines were laid before 
you, you were pleased not only to sanction them 
with your approbation, but also to suggest many 
improvements. Toother respectable friends, both 
among the clergy and laity. I profess myself 

* The author and proprietor of the Sketchy return thanks to 
the Re-v. Erasmus Middleton^ for the readiness with which lie 
consented to their taking hkenesses for the Frontispiece, from 
his Biographica E'vangelka^ a work of information, and wejl 
known to th$ public. 

under similar obligations; and am here proud of 
thus publicly rendering them my grateful ac*- 

With respect to the present edition, now call- 
ed for by an indulgent public, it has (in compli- 
ance with the request of most of my readers) 
received considerable additions and improvements. 
Articls of some length are newly inserted, such 
as the TheophilantropistSy Lutherans^ New 
Methodist-Connection J Jumpers^ &c. ; a few of 
the old ones have been re-written, such as the 
Baptists, Methodists, Universalists, &c. : and 
to the other denominations, particularly the 
Q,uakers and Millenarians, there have been ac- 
cessions of matter, either explanatory of their 
tenets, or illustrative of their history. Notwith- 
standing my special aim at accuracy, yet in so 
miscellaneous a publication, it is almost impossi- 
ble not to have fallen into mistakes. It is, how- 
ever, sincerely hoped that they may prove of a 
trivial nature ; for I have no interest to promote 
but that of truth, and truth does not require that 
the sentiments of any one man, or of any oae 
body of men, should be misrepresented. 


It may, nevertheless, be proper. Sir, through 
the medium of this address, again to remind 
the reader, that this Account of the Christian 
World (though now so much enlarged) ^ still 
professedly a Sketch ; and that therefore an elab- 
orate delineation must not be expected. It is 
mtended, by its brevity, for the rising genera- 
tion ; more especially for the youth under my 
tuition, and for the young people who attend my 
public ministry. Accordingly, in drawing up the 
work, I never imagined myself bound, like the 
ecclesiastical historian, to record every fact con- 
nected with the rise and progress of sects, or to 
pourtray minutely the shades of difference by 
which they are distinguished. I rather consider- 
ed myself as occupying the province of the natu- 
ral historian, who when classing togethei^he dif; 
ferent kinds of the human race, attempts not to 
delineate every variation of feature, but holds up 
those more prominent traits of physiognomy, 
which are impressed on mankind throughout the 
several regions of the globe ! 

The purport of this little volume. Sir, is to in- 
spire religious denominations with more respectful 


sentiments of each other, and to lead them ^ 
study the benevolent ends, for which the Gosp^ 
of Jesus Christ was promulgated. Being a firm 
believer in the truth, and a fervent admirer of the 
excellence of the Christian religion, I would fain 
remove any one obstacle which impedes its pro- 
gress, or diminishes its efficacy, where it is al- 
ready known. Should, therefore, this manual 
bring only two Christians of different denomi- 
nations to a more just knowledge of each 
other's tenets, and prove the means of in- 
clining them the more cheerfully to exercise to- 
wards one another, that charity which thinketh 
no evily it will afford me more real satisfaction 
than the publication of a work of the most 
pompous nature. It is observed by the late cele- 
brated Edmund Burke, who possessed no incon- 
siderable knowledge of human nature, that " In 
all persuasions, the bigots are persecutors ; the 
men of a cool and reasonable piety, are favourers 
of toleration; because bigots not taking the 
pains to be acquainted with the grounds of their 
adversaries^ tenets, conceive them to be so ab- 
surd and monsterous, that no man of sense can 


give into them in good earnest. For which 
reason, they are convinced that some oblique 
bad motive induces them to pretend to the belief 
of such doctrines, and to the maintaining them 
with obstinacy. This is a very general prin- 
ciple in all religious differences, and it is the 
corner-stone of all PERSECUTION. The Em- 
peror Charles the 6th, also, we are told, retired 
at the close of life to a monastery, and there, 
says Dr. Robertson, *^ he was particularly cu- 
rious with regard to the construction of clocks 
and watches, and having found, after repeated 
trials, that he could not bring any txvo of them 
to go exactly alike^ he reflected, it is said, with 
a mixture of surprise as well as regret, on his 
own folly y in having bestowed so much time and 
labour, in the more vain attempt of bringing 
mankind to a precise uniformity of sentiment 
concerning the intricate and mysterious doctrines 
of religion !'* 

The infamous falsehoods. Sir, w^hich have been 
propagated by sects concerning one another^s 
tenets, in almost every age of the church, are 
incompatible with Glory to God in the highest — 


o?i earth peace — good will towards men. No- 
thing tends more to arrest the progress of true 
religion, than the implacable spirit of bigotry. 
Its ignorance and its folly are written in cha- 
racters of blood. Wollaston, the learned au- 
thor of the Religion of Nature Delineated, 
once asked a bigot ^^ how many sects he thought 
there might be in the world ?" *' Why" says 
he, ^^ I can make no judgment — I never con- 
Siid^red the question.'^ <^ Do you think," said 
WoUaston, '^ there may be a hundred?" <^ O, 
yes, at least," cried the bigot, ^^ Why then," 
repMed the philosopher, *^ it is ninety-nine to 
one that you are in the wrong /" This anecdote 
is introduced for the purpose of generating that 
modesty of temper, which forms one of the love- 
liest ornaments of Christianity, William Penn 
has, in a letter to Archbishop Tillotson, these 
memorable words — " I abhor two principles in 
religion, and pity them that own them. The 
first is obedience upon authority, without con- 
viction ; and the other, destroying them that 
differ from me, for God's sake. Such a religion 
is without judgment though not without truth— 


tmion is best if right — else charity.^^ And as . 
Hooker said — ^^ The time will come, when a 
few w^ords spoken with meekness and humility, 
and love^ shall be more acceptable than volumes 
of controversy, which commonly destroy CHA- 
RITY, the very best part of TRUE RELIGION.'* 
Of the terms Prejudice, Bigotry, Candour, and 
Liberality, Dr. Aikin, in his Letters to his Son^ 
gives this happy exemplification. ^^ When Jesus 
preached. Prejudice cried. Can any good thing 
come out of Nazareth ? — Crucify^ crucify 
him ! exclaimed BiGOTRY. — Why^ what evil 
hath he done ? remonstrated CandouH. And 
Liberality drew from his words this infer- 
ence — In every nation, he that feareth God, 
and worketk righteousness, is accepted with 

Upon my first sitting down. Sir, to this work, 
a closer inspection of the discordant materials, 
of which the Christian world stands composed, 
almost deterred me from proceeding to its exe- 
cution. ^ I, however, relied on the candour of 
the public, and was not disappointed. The most 


respectable literary journals of the day, were 
pleased to sanction my attempt with their appro- 
bation. Socrates used to say, that the statuary 
found his figure in the block of marble, and 
striking off with his chissel the superfluous parts, 
the form presented itself gradually to view ! In 
imitatiot of the sculptor, have I here endeavoured 
to divest the several denominations of the extra- 
neous matter which had been attached to them, 
either through ignorance or malignity ; thus 
holding them up to the eye of my reader in their 
just and regular proportions ! Mine, therefore, 
has been an humble, though laborious province ; 
but the concurrence expressed by the wise and 
good, even from among the most opposite sects, 
has proved an abundant reward. To use the 
words of Gilbert West, a most worthy member 
of the church of England — Blessed are the 
peace-makers, for they shall be called the 
children of God. An appellation infinitely 
.more honourable than that of pastor, bishop, 
j^rchbishop, patriarch, cardinal, or pope ; and 
attended with a recompence infinitely surpassing 


the richest revenues of the highest ecclesiastical 
dignity." Cyprian, likewise a pious father of the 
church, ranks a contentious Christian among 
the twelve absurdities, to which the life of man 
is exposed. 

Indeed, Sir, the flattering reception of this 
little work, by DENOMINATIONS of every de* 
scription, cannot fail of affording me satisfac- 
tion. This circumstance, in conjunction with 
the extent of its circulation, {many thousand 
copies having been sold) has raised pleasing sen- 
sations in my breast. For it inclines me to hope, 
that the execrable spirit of bigotry is abating 
among all parties, and that the professors of 
Jesus are becoming more intent on the great 
essentials of Christianity. The probationary con- 
dition in which we are placed, powerfully incul- 
cates such a conduct. It was a saying of the 
pious Richard Baxter, recorded by himself, in the 
History of his own Times — ^^ While we wran- 
gle here in the dark, we are dying and passing 
to that world which will decide all our contro- 
versies, and the safest passage thither is by 
peaceable holiness.^^ 


Hence jarring sectaries may learn 

Their real interest to discern, 

Tliat brother should not war with brother. 

And worry and devour each other ; 

Shunning division here below, 

That each in charity may grow, 

Till join'd in Christian fellowship and love, 

The church on earth shall meet the church aboTe ! 


Since the first appearance of the Sketchy lei- 
sure. Sir has h^tn found^, to lay before the pub- 
lic the SEaUEL, being the second and concluding 
part of this work. There it is largely shewn, 
both in a preliminary Essay, and in the numerous 
Extracts, that moderation is the genuine off- 
spring of Christianity, To avoid the imputation 
of partiality, the authorities amounting in num- 
ber to near one hundred^ are taken from divines 

of the Church of England of the Kirk of 

Scotland, and from among the Protestant Dis- 
senters. The drawing up of this latter work, 

* The author embraces this opportunity of recommending 
Exercises of Piety for the Use of Enlightened and Virtuous Chris" 
^iansy by G. J. Zolikofre ; translated from the French editioi;, 
by the Reu. James Mannlrg^ of Exeter. The work, to which 
the translator has done justice, may be pronounced a valuable 
present to the rising generation. The Sermons of tins foreign 
JOlvine, also lately published in our laugnage, are excellent ia 
their kind. They are at onoe rational and rmpi-essive. 


(a second edition of which is just puMished) was 
With me a favourite object, and no small paina 
were bestowed upon it. The Sketch and Sequel 
complete my design on the subject. May the 
effort be attended with a divine blessing ! 

I am, however, aware Sir, that for the same 
reason that the passionate charge the mild and 
unassuming with a want of spirit^ zealots are 
reproaching the advocates of moderation with a 
propensity to indifference. But this is an ini- 
quitous charge, since it is known, that liberal 
characters have been distinguished for their zeal^ 
In support of what appeared to them to be the 
interests of truth. That the candid have fallen 
into lukewarmness, and that the zealous have 
been betraj^ed into persecution cannot be de- 
nied ; but surely no man in his senses, will, on 
that account, seriously maintain that candour, and 
indifference^ zeal and persecution^ are insepa- 
rably connected. Against a spirit of indifference, 
I here solemnly protest, nor indeed will any 
person accuse me of such an intenti-on, who 
has attentively read my Address to the General 
Baptists on the Revival of Religion amongst 


them. While with our blessed Saviour, Chris- 
tians are exhorted to love one another : so on the 
other hand with the apostle Paul, are they loudly 
called upon to contend earnestly (but not in- 
temperately) /or the faith once delivered to the 

Dr. Prideaux (a learned clergyman of th$ 
church of England) in his Life of Mahomet, 
speaking of the dissentions of the sixth century, 
remarks — '^ Christians having drawn the ab- 
strusest niceties into controversy, did thereby so 
destroy peace, love, and charity among them- 
selves, that they lost the whole substance of re* 
ligion, and in a manner drove Christianity quite 
out of the world ; so that the Saracens, taking 
advantage of the weakness of power and distrac- 
tions of councils, which those divisions had 
caused, soon over-run with terrible devastation, 
all the Eastern provinces of the Roman empire ; 
turned every where their churches into mosques, 
and forced on them the abominable imposture of 
Mahometanism.'* From this lamentable fact. 
Sir, Christians ought to learn an instructive les- 
§on» In an age like the present^ when Atheists 


and Deists are both in this country and upon the 
Continent^ assailing on every side the venerable 
fabric of our religion, its professors ceasing to 
4ay an undue stress on their private differences 
of opinion, should concentrate their scattered 
forces, and inspired with kindness towards each 
other, oppose with one heart and with one soulj 


The biographer of Bishop Burnet tells us, that 
when making his Tour on the Continent, this 
great and good prelate ^^ there became acquaint- 
ed with the leading men of the different persua- 
sions tolerated in that country, particularly Calvi- 
jiists, Arminians, Lutherans, Baptists, Brownists, 
Papists, and Unitarians, amongst each of ivhick, 
he used frequently to declare, he met with men of 
such unfeigned piety and virtue yXh^t he becam^e 
fixed in a strong principle of universal charityj* 
Would to God ! that an example in every respect 
so illustrious, were devoutly imitated by the pro- 
fessors of Christianity. The good effects of 
such a conduct w^ould be instantaneously dis- 
cerned. The sincere and hearty co-operation of 
Christians ^of every denomination, in the great 


cause of virtue and piety^ would essentially pro- 
mote the best interests of mankind. 

Nor will you, my dear sir, blame me for thus 
venturing publicly to express the gratification I 
feel in the publication of both Sketch and 
Sequel at Philadelphia in America. This exten- 
sion of their sphere of usefulness will, I trust, 
prove the humble means of aiding^ in some small 
degree the cause of Christian liberality amongst 
our transatlantic brethren. Tlie period is ap- 
proaching, when the jealousies and distinctions 
of party, in every quarter of the globe, shall be 
lost in the diffusion of pure and unadulterated 
Christianity.! In the present awful crisis of infi- 
delity and lukewarmness. Christians are apt to 
be borne down by a spirit of despondency. But 
the energies of their faith ought by no means to 
be exhausted. Over the attacks of its enemies, 
and over the infirmities of its friends, the religion 
of Jesus shall obtain a complete triumph. The 
day of small things must not be despised. Dis- 
pensations the most dark, and events the most 
unpromjsing, are rendered subservient to the pur- 
poses of the divine government. The rays cf 


revealed truth which have hitherto only beamed! 
upon us through the clouds of our ignorance and 
prejudices, are nevertheless destined to light up 
the radiance of a more perfect day. Then, to 
adopt the energetic language of ancient prophecy 
— The xmlf shall dvcell imth the lamb^ and the 
leopard lie down "with the kid and the calf) and 
the young lion and the fattling together y and 
a little child shall lead them. The lion shall 
eat straiv like the ox^ and the suckling child 
shall play on the hole of the aspy and tke 
weaned child shall put his hand on the cock- 
atrice den. They shall not hurt nor de- 
stroy (saith the Lord) in ALL MY HOLY 

In the mean time, may ihe GoD of PEACE 
allay the animosities and meliorate the temper of 
the Christian world ! Thus will the wretched 
remains of bigotry, which are still to be found in 
some unhappy individuals of every party, be gra- 
dually lessened, and finally destroyed. The glo- 
rious gospel of the blessed God wants not any 
adventitious aid to extend its empire over the 
human heart. It is of itself sufficient, (under 

A, '34 

the blessing of heaven) to purify our affections, 
and to prepare us for our certain and speedy re- 
moval into ETERMITY. 

That you, my dear Sir, and your worthy fam- 
ily, to whom I am indebted for the first pu- 
pils with which I was entrusted,* may enjoy every 
possible blessing ; and that all my readers, (to 
use the words of my excellent friend, the Rev, 
H. Worthington, on a public occasion) may be 
^^ candid, yetjirm — enquirers, yet believers^'^ 
pious, yet liberal,^^ is the wish and prayer of 
Your's, with great esteem, 


Pulin's Row, Islington. 
* The {"^0 sons of Samuci Brent^ £s^, of Greenland JDock. 


IntrGduciory descrlfikn <\f 

Atlieists ...•....»• 38 

Deists 44 

Theopliilanthj-opists • . . 52 

Jews 57 

CMnese 6^ 

Cliristians . . , , 65 

Mahometans 78 

According to the Person */ Christ : 

Trinitanans ..••... 83 

Athanasians 85 

Sabellians 89 

Arians 91 

Ne<^ssarians . 96 

Materialists 97 

Socinians 98 

According to the means and measure of God"^ s f devour / 

Oalvinists 10# 

Sublapsarians and Supralapsarians 108 

Arminians HO 

Baxterians .............. 114 

Antinomians ....*11§ 

According to the mode of Church Gorvernment j 

Papists 120 

Greek, or Russian Church 126 

Protestants 193 

Lutherans , 14g 

Hugonots .....,......,, 149 



Episcopalians, or Church of England ...... 152 

Dissenters 165 

Kirk of Scotland 168 

Seceders 170 

English Presbyterians 174 

Independents 175 

Browrusts , , «.,.... 176 

Paedobaptists ibid 

Baptists, General and Particular 173 

MiscelUneous Secis, not rciucealle to the sieve three-fold DiTuion s 

Quakers 190 

Methodists . • . . c 203 

New Methodists :.'....<. 211 

Jumpers ..,»...... 214 

Universalists . . • • • . . . 219 

Rellyan Univergalists 227 

jOestructionists . i , , . . , 231 

Sabbatarian^ 235 

Moravins ..,.•....*...•.. 236 

Sandemanians 238 

Hutching onians ..,....* 242 

Dunkers 243 

. Shakers * 244 

New American Sect . . - ..,.'... 245 

Mystics 246 

Swedenborgians ...*.. f 247 

Millenarins ..... .....*.... 253 



Recapitulatory Tabk ....►<.'..-.*.- 298 


The great lesson which every sect, and every individual of every 
sect, ought to learn from the histor)- of the Cliurch, is Mot/- 
eratiorj. Want of genuine Moderation towards tliose who 
differ from us in i-eligious opinions seems to be the most 
unaccountable tiling in the world. 

Watson, Bishop of Landaff, 

JL HE Christian world is divided into denomiji% 
tions, each of which is discriminated by senti- 
ments peculiar to itself. To delineate the na- 
ture, point out the foundation, and appreciate the 
tendency of every individual opinion, would be 
an endless task. My onl}^ design is briefly to 
enumerate the leading tenets of the several parties 
which attract our notice, and to make this variety 
of religious opinions a ground for the exercise of 
moderation, together with the improvement of 
other Christian graces. The moderation here re- 
commended lies at an equal distance between an 
indifference to truth atid the merciless spirit of 
uncharitableness. It is a virtue much talked of, 
little understood, and less practised, 


But before we delineate the tfknets of the sev- 
eral parties, the Atheist and Deist shall be just 
mentioned, two descriptions of persons frequently 
confounded together, and also a general outline 
given of Theophilanthropism and Mahometan- 
ism, of Judaism and Christianity. These topics 
will form a proper introduction to an account of 
the Sects and Denominations of the Religious 


THE Atheist does not believe in the existence 
#f a God. He attributes surrounding nature and 
all its astonishing phaenomena to chance, or a^ 
fortuitous concourse of atoms. Plato distinguish* 
f s three sorts of Atheists ; such as deny abso* 
lutely that there are any Gods, others who al* 
low the existence of the Gods, but deny that 
they concern themselves with human affairs, anci 
so disbelieve a Providence ; and lastly, such as 
believe in the Gods and a Providence, but think 
that they are easily appeased, and remit the 
greatest crimes for the smallest supplication.—* 
The first of these, however, are the only Athe*^ 
ists, in the strict and proper ^^n^^ of the word. 
The name of Atheist is composed of two Greek 
terms, » and ^fo?, signifying without Gody and 


m this sense the appellation occurs in the Nevy 
Testament, Ephes* ii. 12. Without God in tk^ 
world. It is to be hoped that direct Atheists 
are few. Some persons indeed, question the re- 
ality of such a character, and others insist, that: 
pretensions to Atheism have their origin in pride, 
or are adopted as a cloak for licentiousness. In 
the seventeenth century, Spinpsa, a foreigner^ was 
its noted defender ; and Lucilio Vanini, an Ital- 
ian, of eccentric character, was burnt, 1610, at 
Toulouse, for his Atheistical tenets. Being press- 
ed to make pubhc acknowledgment of his crime, 
and to ask pardon of God, the king, and justice, 
he boldly replied, that he did not believe there 
was a God ; that he never offended the king.: 
and as for justice, he wished it to th'e devil. He 
confessed that he was one of the twelve who 
parted in company from Naples, to spread their 
doctrines in all parts of Europe. The poor man, 
however, ought not to have been put to death ; 
confinement is the best remedy for insanity. 
Lord Bacon, in his Essays justly remarks, that 
*^ A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind 
to Atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth 
men's minds about to religion ; for while ^he 
mind of man looketh upon second causes scatter- 
ed, it may rest in them and go no farther : but 
when it beholdeth the chain of them confederated 


and linked together, it must needs fiy to Provi- 
dence and Deity.'^ 

Archbishop Tillotson, speaking of Atheism, 
^ysy " For some ages before the reformation. 
Atheism was confined to Italy, and had its chief 
residence at Rome. All the mention that is of 
it in the history of those times, the Papists them- 
selves give us, in the lives of their own popes 
and cardinals, excepting two or three small phi- 
losophers, that were retainers to that court. So 
that this atheistical humour amongst christians 
was the spawn of the gross superstition and con- 
rapt manners of the Romish church and court. 
Andy indeed, nothing is more natural than for 
extremes in religion to beget one another, like 
the vibrations of a pendulumy which the more 
violently you swing in one way, the farther it 
will return the other. But in this last age 
Atheism has travelled over the Alps and infected 
France, and now of late it hath crossed the seas 
and invaded our nation, and hath prevailed to 
amazement !" 

The sermons preached at Boyle's lecture — the 
discourses of Abernethy on the Divine Attributes, 
anB the treatises of Dr. Balguy are an infallible 
antidote against Atheistical tenets. This last 
writer thus forcibly expresses himself on the 
subject ; — 


^^ Of all the false doctrines and foolish opin- 
ions which ever infested the mind of man, no- 
thing can possibly equal that of Atheism, which 
is such a monstrous contradiction to all evidence, 
to all the powers of understanding, and the 
dictates of common sense, that it may be well 
questioned whether any man can really fall in- 
to it by a deliberate use of his judgment. All 
nature so dearly points out, and so loudly pro- 
claims a Creator of infinite power, wisdom, and 
goodness, that whoever hears not its voice and 
sees not its proofs, may well be thought wilfully 
deaf and obstinately blind. If it be evident, self- 
evident, to every man of thought, that there 
can be no effect without a cause, what shall we 
say of that manifold combination of effects, that 
seifies of operations, that system of wonders, 
which fill the universe ; which present themselves 
to all our preceptions, and strike our minds and 
our senses qji every side ! Every faculty, every 
object of every faculty, demonstrates a Deity^ 
The meanest insect we can see, the minutest and 
most contemptible weed we can tread upon, is 
really sufficient to confound Atheism, and baffle 
all its pretensions. How much more that aston- 
ishing variety and multiplicity of God's works with 
which we are continually surrounded ! Let any 
Kian survey the face of the earth, or lift up his 


eyes to the firmament ; let him consider the na- 
ture and instinct of brute animals, and afterwards 
look into the operations of his own mind : will 
be presume to say or suppose that all the objects 
he meets with are nothing more than the result 
of unaccountable accident and blind chance ? 
Can he possibly conceive that such wonderful 
order should spring out of confusion ; or that 
such perfect beauty should be ever formed by the 
fortuitous operations of unconscious, unactive 
particles of matter ? As well, nay better, and 
more easily, might he suppose, that an earthquake 
laaight happen to build towns and cities ; or the 
materials carried down by a flood fit themselves 
up without hands mto a regular fleet. For what 
are towns, cities, or fleets, in comparison of the 
vast and amazing fabric of the universe t In 
short, Atheism offers such violence to all our 
faculties, that it seems scarce credible it should 
ever really find any footing in human under- 

The arguments for the being of a God are dis- 
tributed by the learned into two hinds: 1st. Ar- 
guments a priori^ or those taken from the neces* 
sity of the divine existence; 2d. Arg-uments i 
posteriorly or those taken from the works of na- 
ture. Of the latter species of proof the above 
quotation from Dr. Balguy is a fine illustration. 


On the former see the great Dr. Clark's Essay- 
on the Bemg of a God, which has been deemed, 
a mastei^-piece on the subject. The reader is also 
referred to Dr. Paley's incomparable work on 
Natural Theology, which, though it bears a 
strong resemblance to Derhams' Physico-theolo- 
gy, is by far more compact and impressive* 

Newton, Boyle, Maclaurin, Ray, Derham, 
Locke, and other philosophers, distinguished for 
the profundity of their researches, and the extent 
of their erudition, are to be enrolled amongst the 
principal advocates far the existence and superin- 
tendence of a Deity,* 

* On this subject the celebrated Lord Chesterfield made the 
following declaration ; and no man can suppose ^/j understand- 
ing to have been clouded with religious prejudices. " I have 
read some of Seed's sermons, and like them very well. But I 
have neither read nor intend to read those wliich are meant to 
prove the existence of God ; because it seems to me too great 
a disparagement of that reaso?i which he has given us to re- 
quire any other proofs of his existence than those which the 
whole and every part of the creation afford us. If I believe 
my own existence, I must believe his ; it cannot be proved a 
priori^ as some have idly attempted to do, and cannot be doubt- 
ed oi a posteriori. Cato says very justly—*' Atiii that t<i ?^ aii 
mture met tUoitd'^ £/ega/it Efisiki, 



THE Deists believe in a God, but reject a 
written revelation from him. They are extrava- 
gant in their encomiums on natural religion, 
though they differ much respecting its nature, 
. extent, obligation, and importance. Dr. Clarke, 
in his famous treatise against Deism, divides -them 
into four classes, according to the less or greater 
number of articles comprised in their creed. 
^^ The^r.9t are such as pretend to believe the 
existence of an eternal, infinite, independent, in- 
telligent Being, and who, to avoid the name of 
Epicurean Atheists, teach also that this supreme 
Being made the world, though at the same time 
they agree with the Epicureans in this, that they 
fancy God does not at all concern himself in the 
government of the world ; nor has any regard to, 
or care of, what is done therein, agreeably ta the 
reasoning of Lucretius, the Epicurean poet— 

For whatsoe'er divine must live at peace, 

In undisturbed and everlasting ease ; 

Nor care for us, from fears and dangers free, 

Sufficient to his own felicity. 

Nought here below, i>ought in our pow'r it needs, 

Ne'er smiles at good, nor frowns at wicked deeds. 

The second sort of Deists are those who be- 
lieve not only the Being but also th« providence 


of God with respect to the natural worlds but 
who not allowing any difference between moral 
good and evil^ deny that God takes any notice 
of the morally good or evil actions of men, these 
things depending, as they imagine, on the arbi- 
trary constitution of human laws. 

A third sort of Deists there are, who having 
right apprehensions concerning the natural attri- 
butes of God and his all-governing Providence, 
and some notion of his moral perfections also, yet 
being prejudiced against the notion of the immor- 
tality of the soul, believe that men perish entirely 
at death, and that one generation shall perpetu- 
ally succeed another, without any farther restora- 
tion or renovation of things. 

A fourth and the last sort of Deists are such as 
believe the existence of a Supreme Being, to- 
gether with his Providence in the government of 
the world, also all the obligations of natural reli- 
gion, but so far only as these things are discover- 
able by the light of nature alone, without be- 
lieving any divine revelation." These, the learn- 
ed author observes, are the only true Deists ; but 
as their principles would naturally lead them to 
embrace the Christian revelation, he concludes 
there is now no consistent scheme of Deism in 
the world, Dr, Clarke then adds these pertinent 


observations, mingled with a just severity. ^^ The 
Heathen philosophers, those few of them who 
taught and lived up to the obligations of natural 
religion, had indeed a consistent scheme of Deism 
as far as it went. But the case is not so now ; 
the srame scheme is not any longer consistent with 
its own principles, it does not now lead men to 
believe and embrace revelation, as it then taught 
them to hope for it. Deists in our days, who re- 
ject revelation when offered to them, are not such 
men as Socrates and Cicero were, but under pre- 
tence of Deism, it is plain they are generally rl- 
-diculers of all that is truly excellent in natural 
religion itself. Their trivial and vain cavils, their 
mocking and ridiculing without and before exa- 
mination, their directing the w^hole stress of ob- 
jections against particular customs, or particular 
and perhaps uncertain opinions or explications of 
opinions, without at all considering the main 
body of religion, their loose, vain, and frothy 
discourses, and, above ail, their vicious and im- 
moral lives shew plainly and undeniably that they 
are not real Deists but mere Atheists^ and con- 
sequentlj?^ not capable to judge of the truth of 
Christanity.'' The present Deists are of two 
sorts only, those w^ho believe, and those who 
disbelieve in a future state. If a Theist be dif- 


ferent from a Deist, it is that he has not had re- 
velation proposed to him, and follows therefore 
the pure light of nature** 

The term Deist comes from the Latin word 
Deus, a God ; and is applied to the rejectors of 
revelation, because the existence of a God is the 
principal article of their belief. The name was 
first atssumed by- a number of gentlemen in France 
and Italy, who were willing to cover their oppo- 
sition to the Christian revelation by a more hon- 
orable naiifte than that of Atheists. Viret, a 
divine of eminence among the first reformers, ap- 
pears to have been the first author who expressly 
mentions them ; for in the Epistle Dedicatory 
prefixed to the second volume of his Instruction 
Chretienncy published in 1563, he speaks of 

* Paganism is the corruption of natural religion, and is little 
else' than the vvorsliip of idols and false gods. These were either 
men, as Jupiter, Hercules, Bacchus, &c. or fictitious persons, as 
Victory, Fame, Fever, &:c. or beasts as in Egypt, crocodiles, 
«at3, &c. or finally inanimate things, as onions, fire, water, &c. 
Upon the propagation of Christianity, Paganism gradually de- 
cHmd. JuHan, the apostate, made an ineffectual attempt to 
revive it, and it is now degenerated into gross and disgustful 
idolatary. Such especially was it found to be in the South Sea 
Islands, lately discovered by that unfortunate navigator Capt, 
Cook. Curious specimens of the Pagan idols may be seen both 
in the Leuerian and British Museums* When I saw them there 
—the worshipers of tuch hideous dfeforxnity, excited my com- 


some persons at that time who called themselves 
by a new name, that of Deists. Deists are also 
often called Infidels, (from the Latin word ijift- 
delis) on account of their want of faith or behef 
in the Christian Religion. Some . hideed have 
censured the application of the term infidelity to 
unbelievers, contending that in our language it 
is used solely in a particular sense, implying the 
want of conjugal Jidelity, 

Lord Herbert, of Cherbury, was the first Deist 
who excited public notice in this country. Dr. 
Brown's recent edition of Leland's View of the 
Deistical Writers, together with many other valu- 
able treaties, afford information concerning their 
principles, and contain a complete refutation of 
their objections against revealed religion. Mr. 
Belsham has thus w^ell assigned the principal 
causes of modem infidelity in his reply to Mr. 
Wilberforce. ^^ 1. The first and chief is an un- 
willingness to submit to the restraints of religion, 
and the dread of a future life, which leads men 
to overlook evidence, and to magnify objections. 
2. The palpable absurdities of creeds generally 
professed by Christians, which men of sense hav- 
ing confounded with the genuine doctrines of re- 
velation, they have rejected the whole at once, 
and without enquiry, 3. Impatience and un- 
wilhngness to persevere in the laborious task of 


weighing arguments and examijiing objectionSe 
4. Fashion has biassed the minds of some young 
persons of virtuous characters and competent 
knowledge to resist revelation, in order to avoid 
the imputation of singularity, and to escape the 
ridicule of those with whom they desire to asso- 
ciate. 5. Pride that they might at an easy rate 
attain the character of philosophers and superio- 
rity to vulgar prejudice. 6. Dwelling upon dif- 
ficulties only from which the most rational sys- 
tem is not exempt, and by which the most candid, 
inquisitive, and virtuous minds are sometimes en- 
tangled. The mass of mankind, who never think 
at all, but w^ho~admit, without hesitation, ^' all 
that the nurse and that the priest have taught," 
can never become sceptics. Of course the whole 
€lass of unbelievers consists of persons w^ho have 
thought more or less upon the subject, and as per- 
sons of sense seldom discard at once all the prin- 
ciples in which they have been educated, it is not 
wonderful that many w^ho begin with the highest 
orthodoxy pass through different stages of their 
creed, dropping an article or two every step of 
their progress, till at last w^eary of their labour, 
and not knowing where to fix, they reject it al- 
together. This to a superficial and timid ob- 
server, appears to be an objection to freedom of 
enquiry, for no person beginning to enquire, can 


or ought to say where he will stop. But the sin- 
cere friend to truth will not be discouraged. For 
without enquiry truth cannot be ascertained, and 
if the Christian religion shrinks from close exam- 
ination in this bold and inquisitive age, it must 
and it ought to fall. But of this issue I have not 
the smallest apprehension. Genuine Christianity 
can well bear the fiery trial through which it is 
now passing, and while the dross and the rubbish 
are consumed, the pure gold will remain unin- 
jured, and will come forth from the furnace with 
increased lustre.'* 

Indeed the objections which some Deists have 
made to revelation, affect not so much the reli- 
gion of Jesus Chirst, laid down in the New Tes- 
tament, as certain absurd doctrines and ridiculous 
practices which have been added to it b}^ the 
weakness and wickedness of mankind. Reitera- 
ted accusations therefore of unfairness have been 
brought against the generality of deistical writers; 
and with this palpable injustice Bolingbroke, Vol- 
taire, and Thomas Paine stand particularly charg- 
ed. Paine's Jge of Reason has been ably answer- 
ed by many w^riters, especially by the present 
Bishop of Landaff*, in his masterly performance, 
entitled An Apology for the Bible. 

The rejecters of REVELATION (before they 
thoughtlessly calumniate it) would do well te 


consider what they are able to give us in its stead, 
better calculated to alleviate the distresses, and 
bind up the bleeding heart of humanity. 

The late Dr. Beattie, in the eloquent conclu- 
sion of his Essay on the Immutability of Truth, 
speaking of Sceptics and Deists, very justly re- 
marks ; — " Caressed by those who call themselves 
the great, engrossed by the formalities and foppe- 
ries of life, intoxicated with vanity, pampered 
with adulation, dissipated in the tumult of busi- 
ness, or amidst the vicissitudes of folly, they per- 
haps have little need and little relish for the con- 
solations of religion. But let them know, that 
in the solitary scenes of life there is many an honest 
and tender heart pining with incurable anguish, 
pierced with the sharpest sting of disappointment, 
bereft of friends, chilled with poverty, racked 
with disease, scourged by the oppressor, whom 
nothing but trust in Providence, and the hope of 
a future retribution, could preserve from the ago- 
nies of despair. And do they with sacrilegious 
hands attempt to violate this last refuge of the 
miserable, and to rob them of the only comfort 
that had survived the ravages of misfortune, ma- 
lice, and tyranny ! Did it ever happen that the 
influence of their tenets disturbed the tranquility 
of virtuous retirement, deepened the gloom of hu- 
man distress, or aggravated the horrors of the 
grave ? Ye traitors to human kind, ye murder- 


ers of the human soul, how can ye answer for it 
to your own hearts ? Surely every spark of your 
generosity is extinguished forever^ if this consid- 
eration do not awaken in you the keenest re- 
morse." Some admirable strictures on the na- 
ture and prevalence of modem Deism_, are con- 
tained in the present Bishop of London^s Charge 
to the Clergy for the year 1794. Indeed all the 
writings of this prelate have a pious, liberal, and 
useful tendeucv. 


Theophilanthropists are a kind of Deists arisen 
in France during the revolution. Mr. Thomas 
Paine figured amongst them for some time, and 
even delivered a discourse before them on the 
principles, &c. of this system, which was after- 
wards established. Since the return of Popery 
under Bonaparte, they are said to be nearly anni- 
hilated. At least they by no means attract so 
much of the public attention. The name by 
which they stand distinguished, is a compound 
term, derived from the Greek, and intimates that 
they profess to adore God and love their felloxv- 
creatures. Their common principle is a belief 
in the existence, perfections, and providence of 
God^ and in the doctrine of a future life, and 


their rule of morals is love to God and good 
will to men. Dr. John Walker, a medical gen- 
tleman, author of the Universal Gazetteer, pub- 
lished the manual of the sect, from which a few 
particulars shall be extracted. 

'* The temple, the most worthy of the divinity^ 
in the eyes of the Theophilanthropists, is the 
universe. Abandoned sometimes under the vault 
of heaven, t«ji^the contemplation of the beauties 
of nature, they render its author the homage of 
adorotion and gratitude. They nevertheless 
have temples erected by the hands of men, in 
which it is more commodious for them to as- 
semble to listen to lessons concerning his wisdom. 
Certain moral inscriptions, a simple altar on 
which they deposit, as a sign of gratitude for the 
benefits of the Creator, such flowers or fruits as 
the seasons afford^ and a tribute of the lectures 
and discourses, form the whole of the ornaments 
of their temples. 

The first inscription placed above the altar^ 
recalls to remembrance the two religious dogmas^ 
which are the foundation of their moral. 
First Inscription. 

We believe in the existence of a God, in the 
immortality of the soul. 

Second Inscription.^ 

Worship God, cherish your kind^ render your* 
selves useful to your country. 


Third Inscription. 

Good, in every thing which tends to the preser- 
vation or the perfection of man. 

Evil, is every thing which tends to destroy or 
deteriorate him. 

Fourth Inscription, 

Children honour your fathers and mothers. 

Obey them with affection. Comfort their old 

Fathers and mothers instruct your children. 

Fifth Inscription. 

Wives regard in your husbands the chiefs of 
your houses. 

Husbands love your wives, and render your- 
selves reciprocally happy. 

The assembly sits to hear lessons or discourses 
on morality, principles of religion, of benev- 
olence, and of universal salvation, principles 
equally remote from the severity of stoicism, 
and Epicurean indolence. These lectures and 
discourses are diversified by hymns. Their 
assemblies are holden on the first day of the 
week, and on the decades.'* Mr. Belsham, in his 
answer to Mr. Wilberforce, speaking of this new 
French sect of Deists^ remarks — " Its professed 


principles comprehend the essence of the Chris- 
tian religion, but not admitting the resurrection 
of Christ, the Theophilantropists deprive them- 
selves of the only sohd ground on which to build 
the hope of a future existence." 

The concluding part of the manual of the 
Theophilantropists being still further explana- 
tory of their tenets and conduct, shall be here in- 
troduced — ^^ If any one ask you what is the 
origin of your religion and of your worship, you 
can answer him thus : — Open the most ancient 
books which are known, seek there what was 
the religion, what the worship of the first human 
beings of which history has preserved the re- 
membrance. There you w^ill see that their re- 
ligion was what we now call natural religion^ 
because it has for its principle even the Author of 
nature. It is he that has engraven it in the 
heart of the first human beings, in ours, in that 
of all the inhabitants of the earth ; this religion 
which consists in worshipping God and cherish- 
ing our kind, is what w^e express by one single 
word, that of Theophilanthropy. Thus our re- 
ligion is that of our first parents ; it is yours ; it 
is ours ; it is the universal religion. As to our 
worship, it is also that of our first fathers. See . 
even in the most ancient writings, that the exterior 
signs by which they rendered their homage to 


the Creator^ were of great simplicity. They 
dressed for him an altar of earth, they offered 
him, in jsign of their gratitude and of their sub- 
mission, some of th^ productions which they held 
of his liberal hand. The fathers exhorted their 
children to virtue ; they all encouraged one an- 
other under the auspices of the Divinity to the 
accomplishment of their duties. This simple 
worship, the sages of all nations have not ceased 
to profess^ and they have transmitted it down ta 
us without interruption. 

If they yet ask you of whom you hold your 
mission, answer we hold it of God himself, who 
in giving us two arms, to aid our kind, has also 
given us intelligence to mutually enlighten u?^ ' 
and the love of good to bring us together to vir- 
tue ; of God who has given experience and wis- 
dom to the aged to guide the young, and autho- 
rity to fathers to conduct their children. 

If they are not struck with the force of these 
reasons^, do not farther discuss the subject, and da 
not engage yourself in controversies, which tend 
to diminish the love of our neighbours. Our 
principles are the eternal truth, they will subsist, 
w^hatever individuals may support or attack them, 
and the efforts of the wicked will not even pre- 
vail against them. Rest firmly attached to them, 
without attaching or defending any religious sys- 

JUDAlSxM. 57 

tem^ and remember that similar discussions have 
never produced good, and that they have often 
tinged the earth with the blood of men. Let us 
lay aside systems, and apply ourselves to doing 
good. It is the only road to happmess." 

The Christian reader will admire the practical 
tendency of this new species of Deism, but 
lament the defects by which it stands charac- 
terized. It wants the broad basis of revelation, 
which would give permanency to its doctrines, 
and energy to its precepts, besides the glorious 
discoveries of immortality ! It was hoped at one 
time that the profession of this system in France 
would have prepared the w^ay for the reception 
©f pure Christianity. 


Judaism is the religious doctrines and rites of 
the Jews, who are the descendants of Abraham, 
a person of eminence, chosen by God, soon after 
the flood, to preserve the doctrine of the Divine 
Unity among the idolatrous nations of the earth. 
A complete system of Judaism is contained in the 
five books of MosES, their great law-giver, who 
was raised up to deliver them from their bondage 
in Egypt, and to conduct them to the possession 


of Canaan, the promised land. The Jewish 
ceconomy is so much directed to temporal re- 
wards and punishments, that it has been ques- 
tioned whether the Jews had any knowledge of a 
future state. This opinion has been defended 
with vast erudition by Warburton, in his Divine 
Legation of Moses ; but it has been controverted 
by Dr. Sykes, and other authors of respectability. 
The principal sects among the Jews, in the time 
cf our Saviour, were the Pharisees^ who placed 
religion in external ceremony — the SadduceSy 
who were remarkable for their incredulity^ and 
the EsseneSy who were distinguished by an 
austere sanctity. Some accounts of these sects 
will be found in the last volume of Prideaux's 
Connection, in Harwood's Introduction to the 
Study of the New Testament, and in Marsh's 
improved edition of Michaelis, recently published. 
The Pharisees and Sadduces are frequently 
^mentioned in the New Testament ; and an ac- 
,quaintance with their principles and practices 
serves to illustrate man}^ passages in the sacred 
history. At present the Jews have two sects, 
the CaraiteSy W'ho admit no rule of religion but 
the law of Moses ; and the Rabbinists, who 
add to the laws the traditions of the Talmud. 
The dispersion of the Jews took place upon the 
destruction of Jerusalem bv Titus the Roman 


Emperor, A. D. 70. The expectation of a Mes- 
siah is the distinguishing feature of their religious 
system. The word MESSIAH signifies one 
unointedy or installed into an office by unctk)n. 
The Jews used to anoint their kings, high-priests, 
and sometimes prophets, at their entering upon 
office. Thus Saul, David, Solomon, and Joash, 
kings of Judah, received the royal unction. Thus 
also Aaron and his sons received the sacerdotal^ 
and Elisha, the disciple of Elijah, the prophetic 

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the 
Messiah, in whom all the Jewish prophecies are 
accomplished. The Jews, infatuated with the 
idea of a temporal Messiah, who is to sub- 
due the world, still wait for his appearance. 
According to Buxtorf, (a professor of Hebrew, 
and celebrated for rabbinical learning) some of 
the modern rabbins believe that the Messiah is 
already come, but that he will not manifest him- 
self on account of the sins of the Jews. Others 
however have had recourse to the hypothesis of 
two Messiahs, who are to succeed each other — 
one in a st^ite of humiliation and suffering — the 
other in a state of glory, magnificence, an4 
power. Be it however remembered, that in the 
New Testament Jesus Chirst ' assures us in the 
njost explicit ter/ns that he is the Messiah. U 


John iv. 2oy the Samaritan woman says to Jesus, 
/ know that Messiahs cometh which is called 
Christ : ivhen he is comcy he ivill tell tis all 
things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak to 
thee am He. According to the prediction of 
Jesus Christ, several imposters would assume 
the title of Messiah : and accordingly such 
persons have appeared. An history of ^' False 
Messiahs^^ has been written by a Dutchman. 
Barcochab was the first, who appeared in the 
time of Adrian ; the second, in 1666, was Sab- 
bethai Levi, who turned Mahometan ; and the 
last was Rabbi Mordecai, who was talked of in 

The Talmud is a collection of the doctrines 
and morality of the Jews. They have two works 
that bear this name ; the first is called the Tal- 
mud of Jerusalem ; and the other the Talmud of 
Babylon. The former is shorter and more ob- 
scure than that of Babylon, but is of an older 
date. The Talmud compiled at Babylon the 
Jews prefer to that of Jerusalem, as it is clearer 
and more extensive. 

The Jewish oeconomy was certainly typi- 
cal of the Christian dispensation in many im- 
portant respects, but these types and antitypes 
have been wretchedly abused. A curious in- 
stance of this kind occurred about the time of 


the reformation. Le Clerc has recorded it ; and 
the perusal of it must create a smile. The story 
is this : two eminent Protestants, a Lutheran 
and a Calvinist had been wrangling for a conside- 
rable time about the precedency of their patriach?^ 
without any seeming advantage ; when the one 
took it into his head to make Luther the antitype 
of Aaron, seeing he was the first who had set 
up and lighted the grand candlestick of the re- 
formation in the tabernacle. The other not 
being able to disprove the fact, had recourse to 
the same typical reasoning, and affirmed that if 
Luther was Aaron's antitype, upon that score 
Calvin was much more so, since it is manifest 
that if he had not taken the snuffers in his hand 
and snuffed the lamps, the candlestick: would 
have given so dim a light, that few people would 
have been the better for it ! 

The most remarkable periods in the history of 
the Jews are the call of Abraham, the giving of 
the law by Moses, their establishment in Canaan 
under Joshua, the building of the Temple by 
Solomon, the division of the tribes, their cap- 
tivity in Babylon, their return under Zerubbabel, 
and the destruction of their city and temple 
by the Emperor Titus. Their books of the 
Old Testament are the most ancient and authen- 
tic records extant. For further' information res- 
pecting Judaism, many publications may he 



consulted. See the writings of Josephus, their 
famous historian, of which there are several 
translations in our language — Dr. Jenning'6 two 
volumes of Jewish antiquities. Dr. Shaw's Phi- 
losophy of Judaism, and the late Mr. David 
Levi's Ceremonies of the Jewish Religion. 

I shall conclude this article of the Jews, with 
remarking that the indefatigable Dr. Priestly 
addressed them some years ago with spirit, and 
the above Mr. Levi, a learned Jew, has replied. 
An excellent Address^ however, to the Jews, 
has since come from the same pen, dated Nor- 
thumberland, America, October 1, 1799. It 
concludes in the following pointed manner : " I 
formerly took the liberty to address you, and had 
the happiness to find you were satisfied that I 
WTOte from the purest motives, and a sincere re- 
spect and good-will to your nation. Having 
then advanced all that I thought necessary for 
the purpose, I shall not repeat it here. But I 
cannot help observing, that though one of your 
laation, a person whom I well know and respect, 
replied to me, he did not undertake to refute my 
principal argumeiit, viz. that from Historical 
Evidence, He did not pretend to point out any 
defect in the arguments that I advanced, for Jesus 
having wrought real miracles, for his having 
died, and having risen from, the dead. And if 
jTie gospel hiitory of those facts be true, what- 


ever may be objected to Christianity on other 
accounts, the divine mission will be unquestion- 
able. God would never have suffered any per- 
son pretending to have come from him, to impose 
upon your nation and the whole world in so egre- 
gious a manner as Jesus must have done, if l^^e 
had been an smpostor. Would God have raised 
an impostor to life, after a public execution ? And 
yet in my discourse on that subject, I have shewn 
that this one fact has the most convincing evi- 
dence that any fact of the kind could possibly 
have. If you attentively consider the character 
of Jesus, his great simplicity, his piety, his bene- 
volence, and every other virtue, you must be 
satisfied that he was incapable of imposture. 
Compare his character and conduct with that of 
Mahomet, or any other known impostor, and 
this argument of the internal kind must strike 
you in a forcible manner. Besides how was it 
possible for such a religion as the Christian, 
preached by persons in low stations, without tfce 
advantage of a learned education, to have esta- 
blished itself in the world, opposed as it was by 
every obstacle that could be thrown in its way, 
if it had not been supported by truth and the 
God of truth ? The belief of your nation in 
general, has answered an important purpose in 
the plan of Divine Providence, as nothing else 
could have given so much satisfaction, that Chris- 


tianity received no aid from civil government, 
and that the books of your scriptures are genuine 
writings, not imposed on the world by Chris- 
tians. But this great end being now completely 
answered by the continuance of your incredulity 
for such a length of time, I hope the time is ap- 
proaching, when, as the apostle says, Rom. xi. 26. 
u4!l Is-racl xvill he savedy an event which will be 
followed by the conversion of the Gentiles in 
general. Your restoration cannot fail to con- 
vince the world of the truth of your religion ; 
and in those circumstances, your conversion to 
Christianity cannot fail to draw after it that of 
the whole world !'' In the Spectatovy No. 495, 
Addison has given a paper on the history of the 
JewSy written with his accustomed ingenuity and 


THE Chinese religion is involved in great mys- 
tery. Father Amiot, after the most assiduous re- 
searches on the subject^ comes to this conclusion : 
** the Chinese (says he) are a distinct people, who 
have still preserved the characteristic marks of 
their first origin ; a people whose primitive doc- 
trine will be found, by those who take the trou- 
ble of investigating it thoroughly, to agree in* its 


essential parts with the doctrine of the chosen 
people, before Moses, by the command of God 
himself, had consigned the explanation of it to 
the sacred records ; a people, in a word, whose 
traditional knowledge, when freed from whatever 
the ignorance or the superstition of later ages has 
added to it^may be traced back from age to age, 
and from epocha to epocha, without interruption, 
for the space of four thousand years,^ even to the 
renewal of the human race by the grandson of 
Noah." The King, or canonical book of the 
Chinese, ever)? where inculcates the belief of a 
Supreme Being, the author and preserver of all 
things. Their great philosopher Confucious lived 
about five hundred years before our Saviour's 
birth, and to this day each town has a place con- 
secrated to his memory. See the late Sir George 
StaimtoTi^s Embassy^ where much information 
is given respecting their religion. Amongst other 
particulars, it is mentioned, that the Chinese have 
no religious establishment. 


CHRISTIANITY, (to which Judaism was in- 
troductory) is the last and more perfect dispensa- 
tion of revealed religion with which God hath fa- 
voured the human race. It was instituted by J£- 


SUS Christ, the Son of God, who made his ap- 
pearance in Judea near two thousand years ago. 
He was born at Bethlehem, brought up at Naza- 
reth, and crucified at Jerusalem. His hneage, 
birth, life, death, and sufferings, were minutely 
predicted by a succession of the Jewish prophets, 
and his religion is now spread over a coHsiderable 
portion of the globe. The evidences of the chris- 
tian religion are comprised under historical testi- 
mony, prophecies, miracles, the internal evidence 
of its doctrines and precepts, and the rapidity of 
its first propagation among the Jews and the Gen- 
tiles. — Though thinking christians have in every 
age differed widel}^ respecting some of the doc- 
trines of this religion, yet they are fuUj' agreed 
in the divinity of its origin, and in the benevo- 
lence of its tendenc}^ 

Brief representations of the christian religion, 
shall be transcribed both from the writings of 
churchmen and dissenters, well deserving of at- 

Bishop Gibson, in his second pastoral letter, 
observes — ^^ it will appear that the seve^^al deno- 
minations of christians agree both in the substance 
of religion and in the necessary enforcements of 
the practice of it : that the worid and all things 
in it were created by God, and are under the" di- 
rection and government of his all-powerful hand 
and all-seeing eye ; that there is an essential dif- 


ference between good and evil, virtue and vice • 
that there will be a state of future rewards and 
punishments, according to our behaviour in this 
life ; that Christ was a teacher sent from God, 
and that his apostles were divinely inspired ; that 
all christians are bound to declare and profess 
themselves to be his disciples ; that not only the 
exercise of the several virtues, but also a belief 
in Christ is necessary, in order to their obtaining 
the pardon of sin, the favor of God, and eternal 
life ; that the worship of God is to be performed 
chiefly by the heart in prayers, praises, and 
thanksgivings ; and as to all other points, that 
they are bound to live by the rules which Christ 
and his apostles have left them in the holy scrip- 
tures. Here then is a fixed, certain, and uniform 
rule of faith and practice, containing all the most 
necessary points of religion, established by a di- 
vine sanction, embraced as such by ALL denomi- 
nations of Christians, and in itself abundantly 
sufficient to preserve the knowledge and prac- 
tice of religion in the world.^^^ 

* Some cuifious particulars respecting the religion of tie 
Hindoos ill the East Indiea, communicated in the Asiatic Re- 
searches^ seem to indicate that it is a corruption of the Chris- 
tian religion. H<5w far the resemblance holds, the reader of 
the Asiatic Researches must fonn his own judgment. Tliat 
celebrated work was published under the inspection of the 
late Sir W. Jones. The reader should also consult Maurice's 
Indian Antiquitcs, in which performance the author discovers 


^^— ' '■' ■■ ■ ^—w .^ 

Dr* Sherlock (who succeeded Dr. Gibson a? 
Bishop of London) expresses himself much to the 
same purpose in the first volume of his sermons. 
Observing that the books of the New 'Testament 
may be considered as either historical^ as doctri- 
nal, or as controversial, and some as a mixture 
of the two last, he thus proceeds : — ^^ By the 
doctrinal we understand those matters of faith and 
rules of duty which do not regard thi^ or that par- 
ticular faith, but were intended for the use of the 
world, and are to continue to the end of it. And 
if there be a clear law, and clearly expressed in 
the world, this is the law. Can words more 
clearly express the honour and worship we are to 
pay to God, or can more familiar expressions be 
given in this case than are to be found in the gos- 
pel ? Is not idolatry clearly condemned in the 
gospel ? Is there any thing relating to divine wor- 
ship that we yet want instructing in ? Are not the 
duties likewise which we owe to each other made 
evident and plain ; and can there be any dispute 
about them, except what arises from lust, or ava- 
rice, or other self-interest ? As to th« peculistr 
benefits of the gospel, are they not declared with- 

a profound acquaintance with oriental literature. Some single 
lar specimens, cf Egyptian Antiquities are just deposited in 
the British Museum, which may still further illustrate the reli- 
gion of the Eastern nations of the world. An account ©f tliejrk 
^as lately ir^rted in the Monthly MagHiUic. 


out obscurity ? Can you read the gospel^ and 
doubt whether Christ died for you ? Whether 
God will grant pardon to the penitent^ or his as- 
sistance to those who ask it, whether he will re- 
ward all such in glory who continue the faithful 
disciples of his Son ? What other revelation do 
we want or can we desire y in these great and 
weighty concerns ; or w^hat is there wanting to 
make up a complete system of religion ?" 

The immortal Locke also observes — ^^ Who- 
ever would attain to a true knowledge of the 
Christian religion, in the full and just extent of 
It, let him study thje holy scriptures, especially 
the Neiv Testament^ wherein are contained the 
words of eternal life. It has GoD for its author. 
Salvation for its end^^ and truth, without any 
mixture of error, for its matter." Even Rous- 
seau, confessed himself struck with the majesty 
of the scriptures, the purity of the gospel, and the 
character of Jesus Christ. See the late Gerard^s 
Dissertations on the Internal evidence of Christia- 
nity, and also Dr. Craig's Life of Christ, writ- 
ten with great good sense and simplicity^ 

Many of the serious friends of Christianity are 
alarmed at the progress of Atheism and Deism, 
both at home and abroad. But let not the friends 
of truth be discouraged. That revealed (as well 
as natural) religion is encumbered with difficul- 
ties, Uas never been denied ; and this trait willj 


with a considerate mind, be construed into a 
presumptive proof of its authenticity. '^ It 
would be a miracle (says Dr. Watson, the present 
Bishop of Landaff) greater than any we are in- 
structed to believe, if there remained no difficul- 
ties ; if a being with but with five scanty iplets of 
knowledge, separated but yesterday from his mo- 
ther earth, and to-day sinking again into her bo- 
som, could fathom the depths of the wisdom and 
knowledge of HijUy which is, which ivaSy and 
xvhiah is to come — the Lord God Almighty^ to 
whom be glory and dominion for ever and ever ! 
We live in a dissolute but enlightened age ; tiie 
restraints of our religion are ill suited to the pro- 
fligacy of our manners ; and men are soon in- 
duced to believe that system to be false which 
they wish to find so : that knowledge, moreover, 
w^hich spurns with contempt the illusions of fa- 
naticism, and the tyranny of superstition, is often 
unhappily misemployed in magnifying every lit- 
tle difficulty attending the proof of the truth of 
Christianity, into an irrefragable argunaent of its 
falsehood. The Christian Religion has no- 
thing to apprehend from the strictest investigation 
©f the most learned of its adversaries ; it suffers 
only from the misconceptions of solicits and 
silly pretenders to superior wisdom : a little learn- 
ing is far more dangerous to the faith of those 
who possess it than ignorance itself. Some I 


know aifect to believe, that as the restoration of 
letters were ruinous to the Romish religion, so 
the further cultivation of them will be subversive 
of Christianity itself : of this there is no danger. 
It may be subversive of the reliques of the church 
of Rome, by which other churches are still pol- 
luted ; of persecutions, of anathemas, of ecclesi- 
astical domination over God's heritage, of all the 
silly out-works which the pride, the superstition, 
and the knavery of mankind have erected around 
the citadel of our faith ; but the CITADEL itself is 
founded on a rock, the gates of hell cannot pre- 
vail against it — its master-builder is God ; its 
beauty will be found ineffable, and its strength 
impregnable, when it shall be freed from the 
frippery of human ornaments, and cleared from 
the rubbish of human bulwarks."* 

The excellent Dr. Doddridge also thus happily 
expresses himself on the subject." ^^ The cause 
of Chrii^tianit}' has greatly gained by debate, and 
the gospel comes like^ne gold out of the fur- 
nace^ which the more it is tried the more it is 
approved. I own the defenders of the gospel 

* Tliis prelate has published two Ser7no?is in defence of 
Reiwaied R^Hgien^ togf^ther with some Charges well worthy of 
perusal. His djccourse before the London Hospital, IVIay, 
1802, contains :\ popular il'ustratjdn of tl)e eyidencefi of Chris- 


have appeared with very different degrees of 
ability for the work, nor could it be otherwise 
amongst such numbers of them ; but on the 
whole, though the patrons of infidelity have 
been masters of some wit, humour, and address, 
as well as of a moderate share of learning, and 
generally of much more than a moderate share 
of assurance^ yet so great is the force of truths 
that (unless w^e may except those writers, who 
have unhappily called for the aid of the civil 
imagistrate in the controversy) I cannot recollect 
that I have seen any defence of the gospel, which 
has notion the \vho!e been sufficient to establish 
it, notwithstanding all the sophistical arguments 
of its most subtle antagonists. This is an obser- 
vation which is continually gaining new strength, 
as p.ew assaults are made upon the gospel. And I 
cannot forbear saying, that as if it were by a kind 
of judicial infatuation^ some who have dis- 
tinguished themselves in the wTetched cause of 
infidelit}^, have been permitted to fall into such 
gross misrepresentations, such senseless incon- 
sistencies, and such palpable falsehoods, and in a 
word, into such various and malignant super- 
Jluity of haughtiness^ that to a wise and pious 
mind, they must appear like those venomous 
creatures, which are said to carry an antidote in 
their bowels against their owm poison, A virtu- 
ous and w^ell-bred Deist must turn away from 


some pieces of this kind with scorn and abhor- 
rence, and a Christian might almost be tempted 
to wish that the books , with all their scandals 
about them, might be transmitted to posterity, lest 
when they come to live, like the wTitings of some 
of the ancient heathens, only in those of their 
learned and pious answerers, it should hardly be 
credited that €ver the enemies of the gospel, in 
such an enlightened age, should be capable of so 
much impiety and folly." 

Finally, to use the words of the late ingenious 
Mr. Clarke, in his answer to the question. Why 
are y-ou a Christian ? — ^^ Not because I was born 
in a Christian country, and educated in Christian 
principles ; not because I find the illustrious Ba- 
con, Boyle, Locke, Clark, and Newton, among 
the professors and defenders of Christianity ; nor 
merely because the system itself is so admirably 
calculated to mend and exalt human nature, but 
because the evidence accompanying the gospel 
has convinced me of its truth. The secondary 
cause assigned by unbelievers do not, in my judg- 
ment, account for the rise, progress, and early 
triumphs of the Christian religion* Upon the 
principles of scepticism, I perceive an effect with- 
out an adequate cause, I therefore stand acquit- 
ted to my own reason, though I continue to be- 
lieye and profess the religion of Jesus Christ. 
Arguing from effects to causes, I think I have 


philosophy on my side. And reduced to a choice 
of difficulties, I encounter not so many in ad- 
mitting the miracles ascribed to the Saviour, as in 
the arbitrary suppositions and conjectures of his 

^* That there once existed such a person as 
Jesus Christ ; that he appeared in Judea in the 
reign of Tiberius ; that he taught a system of 
morals superior to any inculcated in the Jewish 
schools; that he was crucified at Jerusalem; and 
that Pontus Pilate was the Roman governor, by 
\Vhose sentence he was condemned and executed, 
are facts which no one can reasonably call in 
question. The most inveterate Deists admit 
them without difficulty. And, indeed, to dispute 
these facts, would be giving the lie to all history. 
As well might we deny the existence of Cicero 
as of a person by the name of Jesus Christ. And 
with equal proprieiy 'might we call in question 
the orations of the former as the discourses of the 
fatten We are morally certain that the one en- 
tertained the Romans with his eloquence, and 
that the other enlightened the Jews with his wis- 
dom. But it is unnecessary to labour these points, 
because they are generally conceded. They who 
affect to despise the Evangelists and Apostles, 
profess to reverence Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny, 
And these eminent Romans bear testimony to se- 
veral particulars which relate to the person of 


Jesus Christ, his influence as the founder of a 
sect, and his crucifiction. From a deference to 
human authority, all therefore acknowledge that 
the Christian religion derived its name from Jesus 
Christ. And many are so just to its merits, as to 
admit that he taught better than Confucius, and 
practised better than Socrates or Plato. But I 
confess my creed embraces many more articles. 
I believe that Jesus Christ was not only a teacher 
of virtue, but that he had a special commission to 
teach. I believe that his doctrines are not the 
works of human reason, but of divine communi- 
cation to mankind. I believe that he was autho- 
rized by God to proclaim forgiveness to the pen- 
itent, and to reveal a state of immortal glory and 
blessedness to those who fear God -and work 
righteousness. I believe, in short, the whole 
Evangelical history, and of consequence the di- 
vine original of Christianity, and the sacred au- 
thority of th^ gospel. Others may reject these 
things as the fictions of humour, art, or policy^ 
but I assent to them from a full conviction of 
their truth. The objections of infidelity have 
often shocked my feelmgs, but have never yet 
shaken my faith. 

^^ To come then to the question — ^Why ARE 
VOU A CHUISTIAN ? I anawer, because the 
Christian Religion carries with it internal 
xaarks of its truth ; because n^t only without the 


aid, but in opposition to the civil authority, in 
opposition to the wit, the argument, and insolence 
of its enemies, it made its way, and gained an 
estabhshment in the world ; because it exhibited 
the accomplishment of some prophecies, and pre- 
sents others, w^hich have been since fulfilled ; 
and because its author displayed an example, and 
performed w^orks, which bespeak not merely a 
superior, but a divine character. Upon these sev- 
eral facts I ground my belief as a CHRISTIAN. 
And till the evidence on which they rest, can be 
invalidated by counter-evidence, I must retain 
my principles and m.y profession." 

These extracts from Sherlock^ Gibsony Locke^ 
Watsoiiy DoddridgCj and Clarke have been here 
5^elected, because they serve to illustrate in a few 
words both the nature and evidences of Christi- 
anity. Thus says an ingenious writer, the Reve- 
rend Robert Hall, of Cambridge — ^^ When at the 
distance of more than half a century Christianity 
was assaulted by a Woolston, a Tindal, and a 
Morgan, it w^as ably supported both by clergy- 
men of the established church and writers amongst 
Protestant Dissenters ; the labours of a Clarke 
and a Butler w^ere associated with those of a 
Doddridge, a Leland^ and a Lardner, with such 
equal reputation and success, as to make it evi- 
dent that the intrinsic excellence of religion needs 
not the aid of external appeadages, that with or 


without a dowry her charms are of equal force to 
fix and engage the heart**' 

It would, however, be as useless as it is im^ 
possible, to refer the reader to all the principal 
treatises which have been written at different pe- 
riods for the defence and illustration of the Chris- 
tian religion. But a few ought to be mentioned 
in justice to the subject ; and those alone shall be 
specified which are the easiest of access. Hhd 
student may therefore consult Lardner^s CredU 
bilityy Wats-on^s Theological TractSy Priestley^a 
Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion^ 
Butler^s Analogy, and both Maltby^s Illustra- 
tion^ and Paley^s View of the Evidences of 
Christianity* For the use of private Christians, 
take Doddridge^s Three Sermons on the Evi- 
dences of the Christian Religion, Plain Reasons 
for being a Christian, and an answer to the 
question. Why are you a Christian, by an Amer- 
ican Divine, but reprinted in this country. Nor 
can it be improper here to mention a small piece 
just publised by Mr. Richard Allchin, of Maidstone, 
entitled ^^ A Familiar Address to young Persons 
on the Truth and Importance of Christianity.^^ 
The substance of Volumes is comprised within 
about thirty pages — drawn up wnth neatness and 
simplicity. And solemnly doth it concern both 
ministers and parents, as they are accouBtable at 


' ■ ■ ' ■ I. . ■ ■ >,■■, , 

the tribunal of Heaven, to furnish the RISING 
GENERATION with religious principles^ which, 
by operating on the springs of human conduct^ 
will insure their temporal and eternal felicity. 



MAHOMETANISM is the religion of Mafto- 
mety who was born in 57 1, at Mecca, a city of 
Arabia, and died at Medina 631. His system is 
a compound of Paganism, Judaism, and Christi- 
anity ; and the Alcoran, w^hich is their Bible, is 
held in great reverence. It is replete with absurd 
representations, and is supposed to be written by 
a Jew. The most eloquent passage is allowed to 
te the following, where God is introduced, bid- 
ding the waters of the deluge to cease. ^^ Earth 
sw^allow up the waters ; heaven draw up those 
thou hast poured out : immediately the waters 
retreated, the command of God was obeyed, the 
ark rested on the mountains, and these words 
v/ere heard — woe to the wicked !^^ Lust, ambi- 
tion, and cruelty, are the most prominent traits in 
Mahomet's conduct ; and Voltaire has written a 
fine tragedy on this subject. The great doctrine 
4ff the Alcoran is unity of God, which, together 
with tike mission of Christ^is strongly ic^isted 


upon by the prophet. Indeed he persuaded his 
followers that he vJSkS the Paracelete or comforter 
which Christ had promised his disciples. In this 
respect the Mahometan religion constitutes a 
powerful collateral proof of the truth of ehristia- 
nity. Nor has this circumstance, suggested to 
me by a worthy friend, been sufficiently consi- 
dered by christians. Thus we may extract good 
from evil, and it is our duty to avail ourselves of 
every thing which tends to augment the eviden- 
ces of our holy religion. Dean Prideaux hath 
largely proved, in his letter to the Deists of the 
Present Age, that there are seven marks of a» 
imposture, that these all belong to Mahometan- 
ism, and that not one of them can be charged o» 
Christianity. See Sale's Alcoran, Prideaux'3 
Eife of Mahomet, Dr. Whitens Sermons at the 
Bampton Lecture, and Dr. Toulmin's excellent 
Dissertations on the internal Evidence of Christie 
anity, and on the Character of Christ compared 
with that of other founders of religion or philo- 
sophy. Mr. Gibbon, in his Roman History, 
gives the following curious specimen of Maho- 
metan divinity ; for the Prophet propagated his 
religion by force of arms : — ^^ The sword (sakh 
Mahomet is the key of heaven and of hell ; a 
drop of blood shed in the cause of God, or a 
•ight speat in arms^ is of more avatt than two 


months of fasting or prayer. Whosoever falls ^ 
in battle, his sins are forgiven at the day of judg^ 
ment ; his wounds shall be resplendent as vermil- 
ion, and odoriferous as musk, the loss of his 
limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels and 

*^ I never wondered (says an ingenious author) 
that the attempts of Mahomet to establish his re- 
ligion w^ere crowned with success. When I 
peruse the Koran, and examine the materials of 
w^hich it 15 composed ; when I observe how much 
the work is indebted to the Jewish and Christiaa 
revelations ; when I survey the particular part 
which Mahomet or his agents supplied ; when I 
see with how much art tlie whole is accommo- 
dated to the opinions and habits of the Jews, 
Christians, and Pagans ; when I consider what 
indulgencies it grants, and what future scenes it 
imfolds ; when I advert to the peculiar circum-? 
stances of the times, w^hen its author formed the 
vast design of assuming the royal and prophetic 
character; and more than all, when I contem*; 
plate the reformer at the head of a conquering 
fjjrmy, the Koran in One hand, and in the other a 
sword, I cannot be surprized at the civil and re- 
ligious revolution, which has immortalized his 
name. With his advantages, how could he fail 
of success? Every thing favoured the fnterpriz^r 


The nations beheld a military apostle. And they 
who were unconvinced by his arguinents^ trenn- 
bled at his sword.^-^ 

Having given this preliminary account of Jthe- 
ism, DeisTUy Theophilanthropism, Judaism^ 
Christianity y and Mahometanismy we now pro- 
ceed to the DENOMINATIONS of the Christian 
w^orld. In the first ages of Christianity there 
were various sects which have long ago sunk 
into oblivion^ and whose names therefore exist 
only- in the pages of ecclesiastical history. It 
13 not our purpose even to glance at these anr 
eient sects, but only briefly to notice those whicli 
in the present day attract our attention. The 
most distinguished may be included under the fol- 
lowing arrangement : — Opinions respecting the 
person of Christ ; respecting the means and 
measure of God's favor; and respecting Church 
Government and the administration of ceremc 

* MaTiometanism distributes itself into two general parts 
Faith, and Practice — the former containing six branches — belief 
in God ; in his angels ; in his scriptures ; in his prophets ; in the 
resurrection and final judgment ; in the divine decrees — the 
latter relating to prayer with wasliing — ahns— fasting — pilgriR>. 
age to Mecca, and ckcumcision^. 




JESUS Christ being the medium by which 
the Deity hath imparted a knowledge of his will 
to mankind, the person of Christ has been eagerly 
investigated, and the nature of God rendered the 
subject of rude and unhallowed controversy. 
This has filled the religious world with violent 
contentions, nor are they likely to be brought 
speedily to a termination. In the mean time, it 
would become us to discuss this topic with mo- 
desty and humility. It is, however, my pre- 
sent province to state the existing opinions re- 
specting this abstruse subject ; it shall be done 
in a few words, and I hope with a degree of 


THE Trinitarians believe the doctrine of a 
Trinity, by which is generally understood, that 
there are three distinct persons in one undivided 
Godhead — the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost. The word Trinity is not to be found in 
the Bible, but is a scholastic term, derived from 
•the Latin word Trinitas^ denoting a three-foW^ 


unity. Calvin himself reprobates the term, as 
being barbarouSy and of human invention. The 
most learned writers entertain such various and 
contradictory sentiments respecting this mystery, 
that it is difficult to know to whom the term 
Trinitarian is justly applicable. Waterland, Howe^ 
Sherlock, Pearson, Burnet, Beveridge, Wallis, 
and Watts, have each of them separate opinions 
on this subject. Dr. Priestly, how^ever, thinks 
Trinitarians reducible to two classes ; those who 
believe that there is no proper di^^inity in Christ, 
beside that of the Father ; and the class of Tri- 
theists^ who maintain that there are three equal 
and distinct Gods. 


NEARLY allied to this latter class are the 
AthanasianSy a name derived from Athanasius, a 
father of the Christian church, who lived in the 
fourth century. Tlie creed which bears his 
name in the Common Prayer-Book, is not of 
his composition ; and so little attached was Arch- 
bishop Tillotson to it, that in writing to Dr. Bur- 
net, the historian, he says, ^^ I wish we were 
well-rid of it.'' The episcopal church in Amer- 
ica has rejected it. — Were the account of the 
doctrine of the Trinity contained in this creed 


ever so just ar>d satisfactory, yet its damnatory 
clauses -are highly exceptionable, and have given' 
great offence to some of the more sensible and 
worthy members of the established church. On 
this subject. Dr. Prettyman, in hk"^ Elements, 
speaks with candour, and moderation — ^^ Great 
objection has been made to the clauses of this 
creed, which denounce eternal damnation against 
those who do not believe the Catholic faith as 
hene stated ; and it certainly is to be lamented^ 
that assertions of so peremptory a nature, unex- 
plained and unqualified^ should have been used 
in a;iy human composition." The prelate then 
endeavours to account for the introduction of 
such clauses hito the creed.; and then adds :— 
'^ We know that different persons have deduced 
different and even opposite doctrines from the 
words of Scripture, and consequently there must 
be many errors among Christians ; but since the 
gospel no where informs us, what degree of error 
will exclude from eternal happiness — I am ready 
to acknowledge that in my judgment, notwith- 
standing the authority of former times, our church 
would have acted more wisely and more consist- 
ently with the general principles of mildness and 
tolerationj if it had not adopted the damnatory 
clauses of the Athanasian creed ! Though I 
firmly believe, that the doctrines of thi^ creed, 
are all founded in Scripture^ I cannot but conceive 


it to be both unnecssary and presumptuous to 
say, that *^ except every one do keep them whole 
and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish ever- 

Mr. Broughton, in his Dictioruiry of all Reli- 
gions, under the article Trinity, has the follow- 
ing paragraph, which may assist the reader 
on this most abstruse subject. ^^ The doctrine 
of the Tkinity, as professed in the Christian 
church, is briefly this : that there is ONE GOD in 

HOLY GHOST ; person signifying her^ the same 
as, essence, with a particular manner of subsist- 
ence, which the Greek fathers called hypostasis, 
taking it for the incommunicable property that 
makes a person. The Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, are believed to be thre distinct persons in 
the divine nature; because the Holy Scriptures, in 
speaking of these three, so distinguish them from 
one another, as we use in common speech to 
distinguish three several persons. There are 
many instances to this purpose, particularly the 
form of administering the sacrament of bap- 
tism, which runs, in the name of the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost ; and that so- 
lemn benediction with which St. Paul concludes 
his second epistle to the Corinthians : The 
Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c. And the 


— ^ '• ^' ' 

three Witnesses in Heaven^ mentioned by St. 

^^ Each of these three persons is affirmed to be 
God, because the names, properties, and ope- 
rations of God, are in the Holy Scriptures, attri- 
buted to each of them. The divinity of the 
Father is out of the question. That of the Son, 
is proved from the following texts, among many 
others : St. John says. The word xms God : St. 
Paul, that God ivas manifested in the Jlesh ; 
that Christ is over all, God blessed for ever. 
Eternity is attributed to the Son : The Son hath 
life in himstlf Perfection of knowledge. — ^4s 
the Father knoweth me, so know I the Father, 
The Creation of all things — Ml things were 
made by him, and ivithout him was not any 
thin^c made that was made* And we are com- 
manded to honour the Son as zve honour the 
Father. The divinity of the Holy Ghost rests 
upon the following proofs, among others — Lying 
to the Holy Ghost is called lying to God. Be- 
cause Christians are the temples of the Holy 
Ghost, they ar-e said to be the temples of God* 

* Tliis passa^ has for some time been deemed aii intcrpo^ 
laiion^ and Dr. Prettymaii gives it up in his Elements of Theology, 
Air. Porson, a profound Greek scholar, has, it is thought, 
^n his controversy vvith Ardideacon Tra\ifc; to have settled thf» 


His teaching all thingSy his guiding^ into all 
truth, his telling things to come, his searching 
all things, even the deep things of God, &c. are 
alledged as plain characters of his divinity. Be- 
sides he is joined with God the Father, as an ob- 
ject of faith and worship in baptism and the 
apostolical benediction. This doctrine is called 
a mystery, because we are not able to compre- 
hend the particular manner of existence of the 
three persons in the divine Nature." Dr. Jere- 
miah Taylor remarks with great piet}^, that ^^ He 
who goes about to speak of the mystery of the 
Trinity, and does it by words and names of man's 
invention, talking of essences and existences, hy- 
postases and personalities, priorities in co-equali- 
ties, and unity in pluralities, may amuse himself 
and build a tabernacle in his head, and talk some- 
thing he knows not what ; but the good man, 
who feels the power of the Father, and to whom 
the Son has become wisdom, sanctification, and 
redemption, in whose heart the love of the Spl- 
it of God is shed abroad ; this man, though he 
understands nothing of what is unintelligible, j^et 
he alone truly understands the Christian doctrine 
of the Trinity." 

It were well, if before we made up our mind 
on this intricate article of faith, we were care- 
fully to read Dr. \¥atts's Essay on the Importance 
of any Schemes to explain the Doctrine 


_ . . 1 - ■ '' r : 

gf the Trinity. This essay shews, first that no 
such scheme of explication is necessary to salva- 
tion ; second!}', that it may yet be of great use 
to the Christian church ; and, thirdly, that all 
such explications ought to be proposed with mo- 
desty to the world, and never imposed on the 

Bishop Burnet tells us, that before the refor- 
mation it was usual in England to have pictures 
of the Trinity. God the Father was represented 
in the shape of an old man with a triple crown, 
and rays about his head ! The Son, in another 
part of the picture, looked like a young man, 
with a single crown on his head, and a radiant 
countenance. The blessed Virgin was betw^een 
them, in a sitting posture ; and the Holy Ghost, 
under the appearance of a dove, spread his wings 
over her. This picture, he tells us, is still to be 
seen in a prayer-book printed in the year 1526, 
according to the ceremonial of Salisbury. Skip- 
pon also tells us, there is at Padua a representa- 
tion of the Trinit}^, being the figure of an old 
man with three faces and three beards. How 
contrary are these absurd representations of the 
Deity to the sublime declaration of our Saviour, 
John iv. 24. ^^ God is a spirit, and they that 
woYship him must worship him in spirit and in 



THE Sahellian reduces the three persons in 
the Trinity to three characters or relations. This 
has been called by some a modal Trinity, and 
the persons who hold it Modalists. Sabeliius, 
the founder of the sect, espoused the doctrine in 
the third century. Of his tenets, the accounts 
are various. Some say, he taught that the Fa- 
ther, Son, and Holy Spirit, were one subsist- 
ence, and one person, with three names ; and 
that in the Old Testament the Deity delivered 
the law as Father, in the new Testament dwelt 
among men as the Son, and descended on the 
Apostles as the Holy Spirit, This opinion gains 
ground in the principality of Wales. " The Sa- 
bellians (says Mr. -Broughton) make the Word 
and the Holy Spirit to be only virtues, emana- 
tions, or functions of the Deity. They held that 
he who in heaven is the Father of all things, 
descended into the Virgin, became a child, and 
was born of her as a Son^ and that having ac- 
complished the mystery of our salvation, he dif- 
fused himself on the Apostles in tongues of fire, 
and was then denominated the Holy Ghost. 
They resembled God to the sun, the illuminative 
virtue or quality whereof was the Wordy and its 
charming virtue the Holy Spirit. The word they 
H 2 


taught was darted like a divine ray, to accom- 
plish the work of redemption ; and that being re- 
ascended to heaven, as the ray returns to its 
source, the warmth of the Father was commu- 
nicated after a like manner to the apostles. Such 
■was the language of the Sabellians." 

Between the system of Sabellianism, and what 
is termed the Indwelling scheme, there appears 
to be a considerable resemblance, if it be not pre- 
cisely the same, difftrently explained. The In- 
dwelling scheme is chiefly founded on that pas- 
sage in the New Testament, where the apostle, 
speaking of Christ, saj-s — ^^ In him dwelleth all 
the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Dr. Watts, 
tow^ards the close of his life, became a Sabellian, 
and wrote several pieces in defence of it.* His 
sentiments on the Trinity appear to have been, 
that ^^ the Godhead, the Deity itself, personally 
distinguished as the Father, was united to the 
iTian Christ Jesus, in consequence of which union 
or md'xelling cf the Godhead, he became prop- 

* See Dr. W^atts's last thoughts on the Trinity, in a pam- 
pJ:ilet just republished by the Reverend Gabriel Watts, now of 
Cliichegter. It v/as printed by the Doctor in the year 1745, 
only tliree years before his death. It is on tliis account liighjy 
valuable, and ought in justice to that great ajid good man, to 
have been inserted in the recent edition of his works. Fruin 
this piece it con trover tibly appears that Dr. Watts had di-3c?.rd- 
ed the common notion cf the Trinitv. 


erly God." Mr. Palmer, in his useful edition 
of Johnson^s Life of Watts, observes that Dr, 
Watts conceived this union to have subsisted be- 
fore the Saviour's appe arance in the flesh, and 
that the human soul of Christ existed with the 
Father from before the foundation of the world : 
on which ground he maintains the real descent 
of Christ from heaven to earth, and the whole 
scene of his humiliation, which he thought in. 
compatible with the common opinion concerning 
him. Dr. Doddridge is supposed to have been 
of these sentiments, and also Mr. Benjamin 
Fawcet, of Kidderminster, who published a val- 
uable piece, entitled Candid Reflections concewr 
ing the Doctrine of the Trinity. 


THE Arian derives his name from Arius, e 
Presbyter of Alexandria, who flourished abottt 
the year 315, and the propagation of w^hose doc- 
trine occasioned the famous council of Nice, as- 
sembled by Constantine, in the year 325. Arius 
owned Christ to be God in a subordinate sense, 
and considered his death to be a propitiation for 
sin. The Arians acknowledge that the Son was 
the word, though they deny its being eternal ; 
contending, that it had only been created pricl- 

92 ARIAN9. 

to all other things. Christ, say they, had no- 
thing of man in him, except the flesh, with, 
which the Logos, or word, spoken of by the 
apostle John, was united, which supplied the 
rest. The Arians, though they deny that Christ 
is the eternal Gody yet they contend against the 
Socinians for his pre-exist ence. His pre-exist- 
ence they found on the two following passages, 
among many others :— Before Abraham %vas^ 
I am. And the prayer of Jesus — *' Glorify me 
with that glory xvhich I had with thee before 
the world began. These and other texts of a 
similar kind, are in their opinion, irrefragable 
proofs that Christ did actually exist in another 
state before he was born of the Virgin Mary in 
the land of Judea. This matter has been argued 
by various w^riters ; and names of the first char- 
acter have distinguished themselves in the Arian 
controversy. It has also been strongly urged by 
the ' advocates of Arianism, that the pre-existent 
dignity of Christ, accounts for that splendid ap- 
paratus of prophecies and miracles, w^ith which 
the mission of the Messiah w^as attended. In 
modern time?, the term Arian is indiscriminately 
applied to those who consider Jesus simply sub- 
ordinate to the Father. Some of them believe 
Christ to have been the creator of the world ; 
but they ALL maintain that he existed previous 
to his incarnation, though in his pre-existent 


State they assign him different degrees of dignity. 
Hence the appellation High and Low Arian. 

That valuable practical writer, Mr. Job Orton^ 
though he never published any thing explicitly 
on the Trinity, is supposed, during the latter 
period of his life, to have entertained these sen- 
timents of the person of Christ, He used to re- 
commend the two following tracts, as having 
given him the most satisfaction on that subject — 
A Sober and Charitable Disquisition on the Im- 
portance of the Doctrine of the Trinity ^ by Si- 
mon Brown ; and An Essay towards a Demon- 
stration of the Scripture Trinity^ by Dr. Scott : 
a new edition of which has been published by 
the venerable Mr. Samuel Goadby. Of the sys- 
tem of Arianism, Dr. Clarke, in his Scripture 
Doctrine of the Trinity, Mr. Henry Taylor 
(for many years Vicar of Portsmouth) in his 
learned work, entitled Ben MordecaVs Apology^ 
Mr. Tompkins, in his Mediator, and Mr. Hop- 
kins, in his Appeal to the Common Sense of all 
Christian People, have been deemed the most 
able advocates. Mr. Whitson, the famous astro- 
nomer and translator of Josephus, revived this 
controversy in the begining of the last century. 
Soon after. Dr. Clarke published his celebrated 
treatise, entitled, the Scripture Doctrine of the 
Trinity, which was disapproved of by the con- 

94 ARIAN?, 

vocation, and answered by Dr. Waterland, who 
had been charged with verging towards Trithe- 
ism, Erasmus, (says the Encyclopaedia Britan- 
nica) " seemed to have aimed in some measure 
to restore Arianism at the beginning of the 16th 
century, in his Commentaries on the New Tes- 
tament. Accordingly he w^as reproached b}' his 
adversaries with Arian interpretations and glosses, 
Arian tenets, &c. To which he made little an- 
swer, save that there was no heresy more tho- 
roughly extinct than that of the Arians." But 
Erasmus is known to have been exceedingly^ tim- 
id his disposition, and confessed in one of his 
letters to a friend, that he possessed not the spirit 
of a martyr. Of the truth of this declaration, 
there were many proofs. 

The history of the Arian controversy, in mod- 
ern times, may be found in a pamphlet, entitled, 
*^ An account of all the Considerable Books and 
Pamphlets that have been wrote on either side, 
in the controversy concerning the Trinity, from 
the year 1712; in which is also contained an 
Account of the Pamphlets written this last year 
on each side b}^ the Dissenters, to the end of the 
year 1719 : published at London, 1720. 

^Thomas Emlyn, a pious and learned divine, 
should be mentioned here, since he has been ren- 
dered memorable for his sufferings in the causfe 

ARIANS. * 93 

of Arianism. He was a dissenting minister in 
Dublin, and there shamefully persecuted on ac- 
count of his religious sentiments. He rejected 
the common notion of the Trinity, but firmly 
maintained the pre-existence of Christ. He died 
in London, 1741, and his works were published 
by his son, an eminent counsellor, in three vol- 
umes : to which are prefixed memoirs of the 

^Dr. Price, in his sermons on the Christian 
doctrine, has taken great pains in explaining and 
defending the principles of Ari;inism. He states 
at large the nature of the doctrine, and enume- 
rates the advantages arising from it in the expli- 
cation of the Scriptures. To these discoures, 
the reader is referred, and whatever he may think 
of the arguments urged in favour of that system, 
he must admire the truly Christian spirit with 
which they are written. 

Some few Arians, and most of the present So- 
citiians add to their creed the doctrines of Neces- 
sity, Materialism, and Universal Restoration, 
though these tenets are "ty no means peculiar to 
them. Towards the close of this Sketch will be 
found an explanation of Universal Restoration : 
and some little account shall be here given of 
Necessity and Materialism. 



THE doctrine of Necessity regards the origin 
©f human actions, and the specific mode of the 
divine government. It teaches that all actions, 
feoth good and bad, are strictly necessary — thus 
every circumstance cannot be otherwise than it 
is throughout the creation of God. Much con- 
troversy has there been on this abstruse sub- 
ject, Collins, Priestly, and Crombie ; Palmer,. 
Price, and Gregory, are authors who have dis- 
tinguished themselves in the controversy ; the 
three former being for, and the three latter 
against Necessity. Doctor Crombie and Doctor 
Gregory are even now agitating the question, 
and therefore more pieces may be expected from 
them on the subject. The opponents of Neces- 
sity strenuously maintain, that it destroys all vir- 
tue and vice ; whilst its advocates declare it to 
be the most consistent mode of explaining the 
divine government. It is not for us to determine, 
on so profound a subject, where the truth lies ; 
and it is remarkable, that the perplexity of the 
theme seems to have harrassed angelic minds, 
according to the representation of Milton — 

Others apart, sat on a hill retir'd, ' 

In thoughts more elevate, and reson'd high. 
Of providence, fore-knowledge, will, and fate ; 
Fix'd fate, free-will, fore-knowledge, absolute, 
And found no end^^-m ivandering mazes lost \ 


To short-sighted mortals^ with all their boasted 
wisdom, the subject must appear dark, and in 
many respects unfathomable. The solution of 
such difficulties ought to be referred to a more 
enlightened sphere of being ! Dr. Watts, indeed^ 
thinks it probable that it will constitute one of 
the sublime employments of the blessed in the 
heavenly world. 


THE doctrine of Materialism respects the na- 
ture of the human soul, and the peculiar mode of 
its existence. It teaches that the soul is not a 
principle independent of the body, but that it 
results from the organization of the brain, though 
in a manner which will not admit of explication. 
This doctrine is thought by its advocates to be 
not only more philosophical—- but to point out 
more fully the necessity and value of a resurrec- 
Hon from the dead — which is a leading doc- 
trine of Christianitj^ Materialists deny any in- 
termediate state of consciousness between death 
and the resurrection. Drs. Price and Priestly 
had a friendly correspondence on this article ; 
and though Dr. Price was no materialist, yet he 
did not hold with an intermediate state. Those 
who deny the existence of an intermediate state, 


are sometimes called Soul-sleepers. See Arch- 
jdeacon Blackburn's Historical view of this Corir 
troversy, and Dr, Law's Appendix to his Theo- 
ry of Natural and Revealed Religion. The 
Light of Nature Pursued, by Edward Search, 
Esq. is a curious work relating to this subject* 
It contains ingenious illustrations : the authour's 
real name was Tucker ; he died in 1775. 

Had not Necessity and Materialism been more 
of a philosophical than of a theological nature, 
they should have received a minuter explication. 


THE Socinian takes his name from Faustus 
Socinus, who died in Poland, 1 604. There were 
two who bore the name Socinus, uncle and ne- 
phew, and both disseminated the same doctrine. 
The Socinian asserts, that Christ had no exist- 
ence until born of the Virgin Mary ; and that, 
being a man like ourselves, though endowed with 
a large portion of the divine wisdom, the only 
objects of his mission w^ere to teach the efficacy 
of repentance without an atonement, as a me- 
dium of the divine favour — to exhibit an example 
for our imitation — to seal his doctrine with his , 
blood — and, in his resurrection from the dead, to 
indicate the certainty of our resurrection at the 


last day. The simple humanity of Christ, which 
forms a principal article of their creed, is founded 
on passages of Scripture, where the Messiah isr 
spoken of as a IMAN, particularly the following : 
2 Acts xxii. Ye men of Israel hear these words, 
Jesus of Nazareth, a MAN, approved of God 
among you, &c. — 17 Acts xxxi. Because he 
hath appointed a day in the which he will judge 
the world in righteousness by that MAN, zvhom 
he hath ordained, &c. — 1 Tim. ii. v. There is 
one God and one Mediator between God and 
men, the Man Christ Jesus — At the same time 
it must be acknowledged that neither the Trini- 
tarian, nor Sabeilian, nor Arian denies his hu- 
manity ; though they do not hold it in that ex- 
clusive and simple sense of the word, for which 
the Socinian contends. On this account it is, 
that the Socinians have received on some occa- 
sions, the appellation of Humanitarians. 

Between ancient and modern Socinians, how- 
ever, a considerable difference obtains. The mi- 
raculous conception, and the worship of Christy 
both allowed by Socinus, are rejected by most of 
the modern Socinians. Dr. Priestly distinguished 
himself in a controversy on this subject with Dr. 
Horsley, the present Bishop of St. Asaph. Dr. 
Priestly had published his two principal theolo- 
gical works ; the one to prove that the first 
Christians were Unitarians, entitled. The History, 

lot S0C1NIAN3. 

of Early Opinions ; the other to account for the 
origui and spread of what is commonly called the 
orthodox doctrine, entitled, A History of the 
Corruptiojis of Christianity. On one or both 
of these publications, the Bishop severely ani- 
madverted ; and to these animadversions Dr, 
Priestly made several spirited replies. It is diffi- 
cult to trace the origin of the Socinian contro- 
versy, John Campanus is said to be the first of 
the reformers vrho distinguished himself on this 
side of the question. Next Michael Servetus, a 
Spanish physician, whom Calvin persecuted even 
to death ; for in the year 1553 he was commit- 
ted to the flames, by persons who had themselves 
just escaped the fangs of the Romish church, and 
who at least had nominally erected the standard of 
religious liberty. " It is impossible (says Dr. 
Alaclaine) to justify the conduct of Calvin in the 
case of Servetus, w^hose death will be an indehble 
reproach upon the character of that eminent re- 
former. The only thing that can be alledged, 
not to deface, but to diminish his crime is, that 
it was no easy matter for him to divest himself at 
once of that persecuting spirit which had been 
so long nourished and strengthened by the Popish 
religion, in which te was educated. It was a 
remaining portion of the spirit of popery in the 
breast of Calvin, that kindled this unchristian 
zeal against the wretched Servetus/* See the 


Life of Servetus, where the tragedy is detailed 
with all its circumstances of brutality. Having 
mentioned the persecution of Servetus by Cal- 
vin, truth on the other hand, requires it to be 
mentioned that Socinus has been accused of per* 
secuting Francis David, who, on account of his 
rejecting the worship of Christ, was cast into 
prison, where he died. The persecuting spirit, 
discoverable in some of the reformers, dimin- 
ishes the respectability of their characters, and 
the only apology that can be made for them is, 
what has been already mentioned, that the nature 
and foundation of religious liberty w^ere not-then 
fully understood. 

The Socinians flourished greatly in Poland 
about the year 1551 ; and J. Siemienius, Palatine 
of Podolia, built purposely for their use the city 
of Racow* A famous catechism was published 
by them, called the Racovian Catechism ; and 
their most able writers are known among the 
learned by the title of the Polones Fratres, or 
Polonian Brethren, ^' Their writings were (says 
Dr. Maclaine) republished together in the year 
1656, in one great collection, consisting of six 
volumes in folio, under the title of Bibliotheca 
Eratrum. There are, indeed, in this collection, 
many pieces wanting, which were composed by 
the most cmuient leaders of the sect ; but what 
is there published is nevertheless sufficient to give 
I 2 


the attentive reader a clear idea of the doctrine 
of the Sociniaiis, and of the nature of their instn 
tution, as a religious community.'^ An inter- 
esting account of these several authors, as well 
as of the persecution of Francis David, will be 
found in Dr. ToulmirVs Life of S acinus. 

But the Socinians have appropriated to them- 
selves the appellation of Unitarians ; and by 
this name they are now more generally distin- 
£^*uished. Though to this appellation they have 
no exclusive claim, yet it is somewhat more cor- 
rectly descriptive of their religious tenets than 
that of Socinians, since they renounce many of 
the opinions of Socinus. The Arians, if not 
the Trinitarians, are equally strenuous for the 
divine Unity. See Lindsey's Hostorical Viciv 
of Unitarianismj Dr. Toulmin's Life of Socinus, 
Hopton Hayne's Scripture Jccount of the At- 
tributes and IVorship of God^ and of the Char- 
acter and Offices of Jesus Christy and Mr, 
Belsham's Jnsiver to Jlr. JVilberforce, where 
the modern Socinian tenets are stated and defend- 
ed with ability. 

The Trinitarians, Arians, and Socinians, have 
also differed greatly respecting the personality 
of the Holy Spirit. Much has been said on 
both sides of this intricate question. Dr. Lard- 
ner's Letter on the Logos may be consulted, and 
also Mr. Marsoni's little piece, entitled, the Im- 



personality of the Holy Ghost, published in 
1787. In Doddridge^s Lectures much informal 
tion is given respecting this and ahnost every 
other article of the Christian faith. Dr. Kippis, 
not long before his death, published an edition 
of this valuable work, with considerable addi- 
tions and improvements. The private Christian 
as well as the theological student, will derive 
an extensive knowledge from the attentive peru- 
sal of it. 

A note added to this publication by Dr. Kip- 
pis, and applicable to this Jirst division of reli- 
gious opinions, is of so excellent a nature, that 
I am tempted to transcribe it. ^' When it h 
considered, how extremely difficult many qires- 
tions in themselves are, and what driferent con- 
clusions have been drawn concerning them by 
men of the profoundegt knowledge and deepest 
reflection, there is a modest scepticismy which it 
will become young students to preserve, till time 
shall have given them the opportunity of wider 
enquiry and larger observation. This remark 
would not have been made, if instances had not 
occurred of youth who have eagerly, and even 
arrogantly adopted an hypothesis on one side or 
the other, without sufficiently exercising that pa- 
tience of thinking, and that slow progress of ex- 
amination, which are likely to be the most favour- 
able to the acquisition of TRUTH.'' 




CHRISTIANS having ascertained the person 
of Christ — whether he be the eternal God — or 
an j4ngel possessing an existence previous to his 
being born of the Virgin Mary — or a mere Man, 
under the guidance of inspiration — next proceed 
to consider the extent of the blessings of the. gos- 
pel, and the manner in which they have been 
conveyed to us. This circumstance also, has 
been the source of endless contentions. Peace 
and charity have been not unfrequently lost in 
the discussion of the subject. Even the metho- 
dists themselves split into two great parties con- 
cerning it, and the controversy between their re- 
spective leaders has scarcely subsided. We shall 
attempt the delineation of this class of opinions 
with brevity. 


THE Calvinist adheres to the doctrines which 
Calvin taught at Geneva, about 1540, where he 
was professor of Divinity. The tenets of Cal- 
vinism are predestination, original sin, particular 
redemption, irresistible grace, and the perseve- 
rance of the saints. These, in the theological 
world, are termed the^re points ; and frequent 


have been the controversies agitated respecting 
them. As the Calvanists differ among them- 
selves in the explication of these tenets, it would 
be difficult to give a specific account of them. 
Generally speaking, however, they comprehend 
the following propositions : Ist. That God hai^ 
chosen a certain number in Christ to everlasting 
glory, before the foundation of the world, accord- 
ing to his immutable purpose, and of his free 
grace and love, without the least fore-sight of 
faith, good works, or any conditions performed 
by the creature; and that the rest of mankind he 
was pleased to pass by, and ordain them to dishon- 

I or and wrath for their sins, to the praise of hi^ 
vindictive justice. 2dly. That Jesus Christ by 
his death and sufferings, made an atonement only 
for the sins of the elect. 3dly. That mankind are. 
totally depraved in consequence of the fall ; and^ 
by virtue of Adam's being their public head, the 

I guilt of his sin was imputed, and a corrupt nature 

' conveyed to all his posterity, from which prooceed 
all actual transgressions, and that by sin we are 
made subject to death, and ail miseries temporal, 
spiritual, and eternal. 4thly, That all whom God 
hsLS predestinated to life he is pleased in his ap- 
pointed time effectually to call by his word and 
Spirit out of that state of sin and death in which 
they are by nature to grace and salvation by Je» 

j sus Christ. And Sthly, That those whom GoU 


has effectually called and sanctified by his spirit 
shall never finally fall* from a state of grace. 
Some have supposed that the Trinity was one of 
the five points ; but this is a mistake, since both 
the Calvanists and Arminians, who formed the 
synod of Dort (where this phrase, Jive points, 
originated) were on the article of the Trinity ge- ,, 
neraih^ agreed. The most prominent feature of I 
this system is the election of som.e, and reproba- 
tion of others, from all eternity. 

The Calvinists found their sentiments of elec- 
tion on the expression of the Saviour, respecting ' 
his having chosen his disciples out of the worlds 
and more particularly on certain terms used by 
the apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, 
To the Epistolary writers, indeed, they more 
frequently refer than to any other part of the New 
Testament. The chief advantage of this system, > 
in the opinion of its advocate is to produce in 
us a most reverential awe when we look up to 
God, and the profoundest humility when we 
look down upon ourselves. 

To the Calvinists also belongs more particularly 
the doctrine of atonement y or that Christ, by his 
death, made satisfaction to the divine justice for 
the elect, appeasing the anger of the Divine 
Being, and effecting on his part a reconciliation. 
Thus Jesus Christ had the sin of the elect laid 
upon him ; and in this sense, Luther said that 


Jesus Christ was the greatest sirmer in the 
world ! ! ! The sentiment is fully expressed by 
Dr. Watts in these lines — 

Rich were the drops of Jesus' blood 

That cahn'd liis froivning face, 
That sprinkled o'er the burning throne, 

And turn'd the 'wrath to grace I 

The manner also in which other Calvinistic 
writers have expressed themselves on the death 
of Christ may be seen by consulting the Univer- 
sal Theological Magazine ^ for November 1802, 
where Mr. R. Wright, of Wisbeach, has col- 
lected together passages illustrative of the subject. 
This doctrine, however, is strongly reprobated 
by some of their divines, who consider the death of 
Christ (with the Arians and Sabellians) as simply 
a mjiiium through which God has been pleased 
to exercise mercy towards the penitent. Hence 
it has been remarked that God is represented as 
reconciling by the death of Christ not himself to 
man but man to hhnself. God was in Christ re- 
conciling the world to himself y not imputing 
their trespasses unto them, 2 Cor. v. 19. See 
Mr. Fuller's publication, entitled. The Calvinist- 
ic and Socinian Systems compared^ which has 
been admired by some of the Calvinists, and con- 
demned by others of them, as not coming up to 
the full standard of orthodoxy.* 

* Haying retened to this pubUcatiou, it may be proper to 
loi^ieive, that it treats of the Calvinistic system, and endea- 


But to ascertain the real sentiiiients of this body 
of Christians, recourse should be had to the 
Jssembly^s Catechism^ which is taught their 
children, and may therefore be supposed to con- 
tain a just acccount of their religious opinions. 



AMONG the refinements of Calvinism are to 
be ranked the distinctions of the Sublapsarians 
and Supralapsarians. The Sublapsarians assert, 
that God had only permitted the first man to fall 
into transgression, without absolutely pre-deter- 
mining his fall ; whereas the Supralapsaiians 

voiirs to defend it from the absurdities and impieties with which 
it has been charged in the writings of the modern Socijiians. 
Accordingly Dr. Touhnin and Mr. Kentish have come forward 
and bestowed upon it some animadversions, to which their an- 
tagonist has repUed. Dr. Priestly and Mr. Belsham, indeed, 
against whom Mr. F.'s criticisims are cliiefly directed, have 
treated it in a different manner. The former has not deemed 
it worthy of notice ; the latter mentions it in his reply to IVIr. 
Wilberiorce, with great contempt. He there remarks, that the 
amount of its boasted argument is this — " We Calvinists being . 
muc/) better Christians than you Socinians, our doctrines 7nusf 
be true !'' So very different and even contradictory are the es- 
timates made of mere controversial publications. Dr. Toulmin 
published a second and enlarged edition of liis piece against it, 
so that the dispute between them is at present far from being 
decided. In this, as in similar cases, each party boasts of 


maintain that God had from all eternity decreed 
the transgressions of Adam, in such a manner 
that our fir^t parents^ could not possibly avoid 
this fatal event. Dr. Doddridge in his Lectures, 
has thus stated these abstruse distinctions — ^^ The 
Supralaps avian and Sublapsarian schemes agree 
in asserting the doctrine of predestination, but 
with this difference, that the former supposes 
that God intended to glorify his justice in the con- 
demnation of some, as well as his mercy in the 
salvation of others, and for that purpose decreed 
that Adam should necessarily fall, and by that fall 
bring himself and all his offspring into a state of 
everlasting condemnation ; the latter scheme sup- 
poses that the decree of predestination regards 
man as fallen by an abuse of that freedom which 
Adam had, into a state in which all were to be 
left to necessary and imavoidable ruin, who were 
not exempted from it by predestination," Re- 
cent divines, who have gone to the height of 
Supra-lapsarians, are Mr. Brine, and Dr. GilL 
Were any thing more necessary to elucidate this 
subject, it might be added — that the term Supra- 
lapsarius is derived from two Latin w^ords. Su- 
pra, above, and lapsus the fall : and the term 
Sublapsarjans, from S^ft below or after, and lap- 
sus the fall. 

Calvin, in his Institutes, states and defends 
at large the principles of the system. It is writ- 


ten in elegant Latin, is dedicated to Francis the 
First, King of France, and the dedication has 
been admired for its boldness and magnanimity. 

For a defence of Calvinism, see Edwards on 
the Will, Brines Tracts, Dr. GilPs Cause of 
God and Truth, and Toplady's Historic Proof 
vf the Calvinism of the Church of England* 

ITHE Arminian favours the tenets- of Arml- 
iVius, the disciple of Beza, and latterly an emi- 
nent professor of divinity at Leyden, who flourish- 
ed about the year 1600. Thinking the doc- 
trine of Calvui with regard to free-will, predes-^ 
tination, and grace, directly contrary to the mild 
and amiable perfections of the Deity, he began 
to express his doubts concerning thena in the 
year 1591 ; and upon further enquiry, adopted 
sentiments more nearly resembling those of the 
Lutherans than of the Calvinists. After his ap- 
poiatment to the theological chair ^t Leyden, he 
thought it his duty to avow and vindicate the 
principles which he had .embraced ; and the free- 
dom with which lie published and defended them, 
exposed him to the resentment of those that ad- 
hered to the theological ^y^iem of Geneva. The 
controversy thus begun in the life-time of Ar? 
rnmius, ended not with his death, and for a long 
time roussd the violence of contending pas- 


sions.* His tenets include the five following 
propositions : 1st. That God has not fixed the 
future state of mankind by an absolute uncondi* 
tional decree ; but determined from all eternity^ 
to bestow salvation on those whom he foresaw 
would persevere to the end in their faith in Jesus 
Christ, and to inflict punishment on those who 
should continue in their unbelief, and resist to 
the end his divine assistance* 2dly. That Jesus 
Christ by his death and sufferings, made an atone- 
ment for the sins of all mankind in general, and 
of every individual in particular ; that however 
none but those who believe in him can be par- 
takers of this divhie benefit* 3dly. That man- 
kind are not totally depraved, and that depravity 
does not come upon them by virtue of Adam's 
being their public head, but that mortality and 
natural evil only are the direct consequences of 
his sin to posterity* 4thly. That there is no such 
thing as irresistable grace,^ in the conversion of 
sinners. And, 5thly. That those who are united 
to Christ by faith, may fall from their faith, and 
forfeit finally their state of grace. Thus the fol- 
lowers of Arminius believe that God, having an 
equal regard for all his creatures, sent his Son to 
die, for the sins of the tvhole world ; that men 

=^' Arminius's motto was a remarkable one—** A good con- 
rlence is aparadise^"* 


have the power of doing the will of God, other- 
wise they are not the proper subjects of approba- 
tion and condemnation ; and that, in the present 
imperfect state, behevers, if not particularly vi- 
gilant, may, through the force of temptation, 
fall from grace, and sink into final perdition. 
The Arminians found their sentiments on the ex- 
pressions of our Saviour respecting his willing- 
ness to save all that come unto him ; especially 
on his prayer over Jerusalem — his Sermon on the 
mount, and above all on his delineation of the 
process of the last day, where the salvation of 
men is not said to have been procured by any de- 
crecy but because they had done the will of their 
Father, who is in heaven. This last argument 
they deem decisive ; because it cannot be sup- 
posed that Jesus, in the account of the judgment 
da}^, would have deceived them. They also 
say, the terms in the Romans respecting election, 
are applicable only to the state of the Jews as a 
bodt/y without a reference to the religious condi- 
tion of individuals, either in the present or future 

Dr. Whitby, the commentator, who was ori-- 
ginaily a Calvinist, has written a large and ela- 
borate defence of Armijiianism ; and the reader 
should consult Dr. Taylor^s Key to the Epistles 
to the Romans, which has been much admired, 
on the subject. Since the days of Laud (who was 


Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Charles 
the First) by far the majority of the English cler- 
gy have taken this side of the question. Bishop 
Burnet has given a full account of the opinions 
of this sect, in his Exposition of the seventeeth 

In the last century disputes ran very high in 
Holland between the Calvinists and the Armi- 
nians. On each side considerable talents and 
learning were displayed ; but some shamefully 
called in the interference of the civil power, and 
thus terminated a controversy which for some 
years had agitated the religious world. For thisr 
purpose the famous synod of Dort was held, 
1618, and a curious account of its proceedings 
may be seen in the series of letters written by the 
ever-memorable John Hales, who was present 
on the occasion. This synod was succeeded by 
a severe and scandalous persecution of the Armi- 
nians. The respectable Barnevelt lost his head 
on a scaffold, and the learned Grotius, condemned 
to perpetual imprisonment, escaped from the cell 
and took refuge in France. The storm, how- 
ever, some time after abated, and Episcopius, an 
Arminian minister, opened a seminary in Am- 
sterdam, which produced some able divines and 
excelled scholars. 

The principal Arminian writers are Episcopius, 
Vorstius^ Grotius, Limborch, Le Clerc, Wet- 


stein, not to mention many others of modem 
times particularly Mr. John Wesley in his Jr- 
minian Magazine, and Mr. Fellowes in his Reli- 
gion without Canty and in his elegant work, en- 
titled Christian Philosophy. 

The Arminians are sometimes called the Re- 
monstrants, because they, in 1611, presented a 
KEMONSTRANCE to the States General, wherein 
they pathetically state their grievances, and pray 
for relief. See an interesting work, entitled^ 
An A^bridgement of Gerrard Brandt's History of 
the Reformation in the Low Countries, 2 vols* 



THE Baxterian strikes into a middle path, 
between Arminianism and Calvinism, and thus 
endeavours to unite both schemes. With the 
Calvinist, he professes to believe that a certain 
number, determined upon in the divine council?, 
will be infallibly saved ; and with the Arminian 
he joins in rejecting the doctrine of reprobation 
as absurd and impious ; admits that Christ, in a 
certain sense, died for all, and supposes that such 
a portion of grace is allotted to every man, as 
renders it his own fault if he does not attain to 
eternal life. This conciliatory system was espous- 
ed by the famous nonconformist Richard Bax- 

. BAXTERIAN^, 115 

ter, who lived in the last century, and who was 
equally celebrated for the acuteness of his con- 
troversial talents, and the utility of his practical 
writings. Hence came the term Baxterians, 
among whom are generally ranked both Watts 
and Doddridge. In the scale of religious senti- 
ment, Baxterianism seems to be with respect to 
the subject of the divine favor, what Arianism is 
with respect to the person of Christ. It appears 
to have been considered by some pious persons 
as a safe middle way between two extremes, 
Baxter was an extraordinary character in the re- 
ligious world. He wrote about 120 books, and 
had above 60 written against him. Though he 
possessed a very metaphysical genius, and conse- 
quently sometimes made a distinction without a 
difference, yet the great object of most of his 
productions was peace and amity. Accordingly 
his religious system was formed not to inflame 
the passions and widen the breaches, but to heal 
those wounds of the Christian Church, imder 
which she had long languished.* 

* For the particular detail given of the Calvinistic and Ar- 
miniaii sentiments, see a brief but useful histoiy of the Chris- 
tian church, in 2 vols, by Dr. Gregory. The best and amplest 
ecclesiastical history is Mosheim's, in C vols, translated from the 
Latin into English by Dr. Maclaine, of the Hague, who has 
enriched it with many valuable notes. Dr. Priestly has just: 
published in six octavo volumes a Histoiy of the Christiarj 
Church, from the birth of the Messiah down to the present tiire. 



THE Antinomian derives his name from two 
Greek words, Anti, against, and Nomo$, a law ; 
his favourite tenet being, that the law is not a 
rule of life to believers. It is Hot easy to ascer- 
tain what he means by this position. But he seems 
to carry the doctrine of the imputed righteous- 
ness of Christ, and of salvation by faith without 
works, to such lengths as to injure, if not wholly 
destroy, the obligation to moral obedience. An- 
tinomianism may be traced to the period of the 
reformation, and its promulgator was John Agri- 
eola, originally a disciple of Luther. TJie Pa- 
pists, in their disputes with the Protestants of 
that day, carried the merit of good works to an 
extravagant length ; and this induced some of 
their opponents to run into the opposite extreme* 
This sect (says the Encyclopaedia) sprung up in 
England, during the protectorate of Oliver Crom- 
well, and extended their system of libertinism 
much farther than Agricola, the disciple of Lu- 
ther. Some of their teachers expresslj'- main- 
tained, that as the elect cannot fall from grace, 
nor forfeit the divine favour, the wicked actions 
they commit are not really sinful, nor are they 
to be considered as instances of their violation of 
the divine law^, consequently fthey have no occa- 
sion either to confess their sins or to break them 


off by repentance. According to them it is one of 
the essential and distinctive characters of the 
elect, that they cannot do any thing displeasing 
to God, or prohibited by the law. Luther, Ru- 
therford, Sedgwick, Gataker, Witsius, Bull, Wil- 
liams, &c, have written refutations ; whilst Crisp, 
Richardson, Saltmarsh, put forth defences of the 
Antinomians ; Wisgandus wrote ^^ A Compar- 
ison between ancient and modern Antinomians." 
The late Rev. Mr. Fletcher, Vicar of Madeley, 
in Shropshire, published Four Checks to Antino- 
mianismy which have been much read, and great- 
ly admired. 

The term Antinomian has he^n frequently fix- 
ed on persons by way of reproach ; and there- 
fore many who have been branded with this 
name have repelled the charge. There are many 
Antinomians, indeed, of a singular cast in Ger- 
many, and other parts of the continent ; they 
condemn the moral law as a rule of life, and yet 
profess a strict regard for the interests of practical 
religion. Many persons, how^ever, who repro* 
bate the system of John Calvin, pronounce Anti- 
nomianism to be nothing more than Calvinism 
run to seed. Speculative sentiments of any kind 
ought not to be carried to a degree which might 
endanger even in appearance the sacred cause of 




^' THE extent of Christianity in the world, or 
all those several kingdoms and countries where 
the Christian religion is professed and embraced 
(says Mr. Martin in his Philological Library) are 
taken together, called Christendom ; and this 
consists of many (some more general, some more 
particular, &c.) different religious societies, 
which are called churches, A Christian church,, 
is a society or congregation of men and women, 
who are called out from the vicious world by the 
preaching of the gospel, and are regulated in all 
the parts of their ritual discipline and articles of 
faith by the plain rules and prescriptions of the 
New Testament, and whose lives are correspond- 
ent to their holy professions. The ministers of 
the Christian Church, in its primitive state, w^ere 
extraordinary or ordinary. The Extraordinary 
were chiefly three : 1. Jpostles, who were dele- 
gated by Christ with power and commission to 
preach the gospel, and w^ork miracles in confir- 
mation thereof among all nations. 2. Prophets, 
who were not such as simply foretold things, 
but those to whom God was pleased to reveal 


Ills more secret counsels and designs, and who 
related and preached the same to men. 3. 
Evangelists^ such as were assistants to the 
apostles in preaching the gospel, and were en- 
dued with many extraordinary gifts of the Holy 
Spirit, as of languages and interpretations, &c. 
But since the establishment of Christianity in the 
world, these extraordinary offices have ceased. 
The ordinary ministers of the Christian church 
are principally three : 1. A Bishop, who had 
the oversight of the flock or church of Christ ; 
to him pertained the preaching of the word, and 
Aue regulation of the church in faith and man- 
ners. And this rule and precedence of the Bishop 
is called Episcopacy, 2. Presbyters or Elders, 
or Priests ; these were such as preached the 
word, and administered the sacraments, and per- 
formed all the other sacred functions of the min- 
istry, under the inspection of the Bishop. But 
it is a controversy, whether the scripture doth 
not intend the same person or officer by the ap- 
pellations Bishop and Presbyter. The power of 
the Pre56i/ter is called Presbytery. 3. Deacons; 
these w^ere such as officiate in that part of the 
Christian ministry w^iich related to the poor, 
and their business was to take the collection of 
money made in the church, and to distribute it 
to the necessities of the poor, and other sacred 
Msei. And their office, properly speaking, is 


called the Ministry or Deaconship, These offi- 
cers are perpetual in the Christrian church.''— 
After this introductory explanation of the Chris- 
tian church, I proceed to the Opinions respecU 
ing church government and the administration 
of ceremonies. 


THE Papists are so denominated from their 
leading tenet — the infallibility and supremacy of 
the Pope (in the Latin, Papa^ signifying father, 
which they strenuously maintain. By the infalli" 
bility of the Pope, is understood, that the Pope 
cannot err in ecclesiastical matters ; and by his 
supremacy is meant his authority over all the 
churches, and sometimes over all the princes of 
the earth. This enormous power has been for 
some time diminishing, and the Roman Catho- 
lics at present are divided on this subject. Some 
allow the Pope's infallibility and supremacy in 
their full extent ; others acknowledge them in 
part ; and a third wholly reject them. The late 
Father O'Leary's Tracts also may be consulted, 
\\\\o had a dispute on Popery with the Reverend " 
John Wesley. They also profess to believe, 1. 
In ii(t\e\\ sacraments — baptism, confirmation, the 
eucharist, penance, extreme unction, or thn 

PAPISTS. 12 i 

anointing the sick in the prospect of death, or- 
ders, and matrinaony. With respect to the Eu- 
charist, or Lord's Supper, they hold the doctrine 
of tramubstantiationy or that the bread and wine 
are chaRged into the body and blood of Christ *. 
the paying divine worship to the host, or conse- 
crated wafer, and the allowing communion only 
in one kind, viz. bread to the laity. 2. In works 
of supererogation, as that the good works of 
saints are meritorious enough to supply the defi- 
ciency of others. 3. In the celibacy, or single 
life of the clergy. 4. In the use of images and 
sacred relics. The charge of worshipping Images 
has been brought against them, and though it 
may prevail among the lower classes, yet the 
more intelligent disown every thing of the kind. 
And 5. In the celebration of divine service in an 
unknown tongue. Many, however, of the ad- 
herents to Popery, in the present day, reject 
some of the above tenets ; and more especially 
renouncing the supremacy of the Pope, distin- 
guish themselves by the name of Catholics, and 
sometimes of Catholic Dissenters. The pub- 
lications of the late Dr. Geddes, on this subject, 
are worthy of attention. He was a liberal and 
learned priest among this class of the Roman Ca- 
thoHcs, and was for several years engaged in a 
translation of the Bible under the patronage of 
Lord Petre, Among the Roman Catholics there 


«re to b€ found several monastic orders, such as 
the Augustines, the Benedictines, the Carmelites, 
the Dominicans, the Franciscans, &c. and also a 
variety of sects, such as the Jesuites, the JansC" 
aits, the Molinists, and others, some of whom 
were gects of celebrity. The ingenious Pascal, 
in his Provincial Letters^ aimed an effective 
blow at the order of the Jesuits, and it was abo- 
lished in France in 1 762, on the supposition that 
they adopted practices inimical to the welfare of 
their country, 

In the council of Trent, held 1549, the tenets 
of the Papists were reduced into one compact 
standard, and the summary of Pjopery, exhibited 
in Pope Pius's creed, contains the substance of 
the decrees and canons of this council. The 
creed is divided into twenty-four articles. The 
first twelve^are expressed in the words of the 
creed called iheNicene; and the remaining twelve 
are new articles, truly Romish. See Burrough's 
View of Popery, taken from the Creed of Pope 
Pius the Vlth, 1735. Father Paul, of Venice, 
has imortalized himself by a history of the 
pouncil of Trent ; and though himself a Papist, 
yet he has exposed with freedom the intrigues by 
which this council was conducted. Bellarmine, 
an acute Jesuit, and Bossuet, the Bishop of 
Meaux, are the two most celebrated defenders of 
Popery. They^had also amongst them several 


eloquent preachers ; and the sermons of Massi- 
lon, Bourdaloue, and Flechier, are esteemed 
models of pulpit eloquence. In this country 
several penal laws were in force against the Ro- 
man Catholics ; but most of them were repealed 
in the course of the present reign* It was an op- 
position to the repeal of these laws that occa- 
sioned the disgraceful riots, which broke out 
during the month of June, 1780, and threatened 
the destruction of the metropolis ! 

It is remarkable that the Papists have had 
amongst them a Pope, who used to be denomina- 
ted a Protestant Pope. His name was Ganga- 
nelli, and he is known to the world under the 
title of Clement the 14th. His liberality ap- 
peared in his actions, and it was his common 
saying, ^^ We too often lay aside charity to 
maintain/ait^, without reflecting that if it is not 
allowed to tolerate men, it is forbidden to hate 
and persecute those who have unfortunately em- 
braced it." He died in 1775, not without sus- 
picion of being poisoned. Such a character must 
be pronounced an honour to the Romish churchy 
and it is to be hoped that there are many individ- 
uals of this description to be found in her com- 
munion. As to his letters^ which for the libe- 
rality of their sentiments and the elegance of their 
diction have been much admired, many entertain 
doubts of their authenticity. Archbishop Feneloc. 


also was distinguished for his bepevolence and 

Here the account of Popery should have ended^ 
had not their doctrine of Indulgencies deserved 
particular explanation. The history and form of 
these indulgences are thus given us by that emi- 
nent historian Dr. Robertson, in his History of 
Charles the Fifth. *^ According to the doctrine 
of the Romish church, all the good w^orks of the 
saints, over and above those which were neces- 
sary towards their own. justification, are deposit- 
ed together, with the infinite merits of Jesus 
Christ, in one inexhaustable treasur}^ The keys 
of this were committed to St. Peter, and to his 
successors the Popes, who may open it at plea- 
f^ure, and by tranferring a portion of this super- 
abundant merit to any particular person for a sura 
of money, may convey to him either the pardon 
of his own sins,, or a release for any one in whom 
he is intercepted, from the pains of purgatory ; 
which indulgences w^ere first invented in the 
eleventh century^ by Urban the Second^ as a re- 
compense for those who went in person upon the 
meritorious enterprize (commonly called the 
Crusades) of conquering the holy land. They 
w^ere afterwards granted to those who hired a 
soldier for that purpose ; and in process of time 
were bestowed on such as gave money for ac- 
complishing any pious w^ork enjoined by the Pope^ 


Julius the Second had bestowed indulgences on 
all who contributed towards building the church 
of St. Peter at Rome : and as Leo the Tenth 
was carrying on that magnificent and extensive 
fabric, his grant was founded on the same pre- 

The following is the form of these indulgences : 
^^ May our Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon 
thee, and absolve thee by the merits of his most 
holy passion. And I, by the authority, of his 
blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of the most 
holy Pope, granted and committed to me in these 
parts, do absolve thee, first from all ecclesiastic- 
al censures, in whatever manner they have been 
incurred, and then from all thy sins, trangres- 
sions, and excesses^ how enormous soever they 
be even from such as are reserved for the cogni- 
zance of the holy see, and, as far as the keys 
of the holy church extend, I remit to thee al! 
punishment which thou dost deserve in purgatory 
en their account ; and I restore thee to the holy 
sacraments of the church, to the unity of the 
faithful, and to that innocence and purity which 
thou didst posses at baptism ; so that when thou 
dost die the gates of punishment shall be shut 
and the gates of the paridise of delight shall be 
opened ; and if thou shalt not die at present, this 
grace shall remain in full force when thou art at 
K 2 


the point of death. In the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 

This was the form of absolution used by Tet- 
zel, a Dominican friar, who in the sixteenth cen- 
tury, was appointed to sell these indulgences in 
Germany, which eventually brought about the 

This article shall conclude with the mention of 
a curious tract on Popery, entitled, ^^ A Modest 
Apology for the Roman Catholics of Great Brit- 
ain, addressed to all moderate Protestants, partic- 
ularly to the Members of both Houses of Parlia- 
ment." This piece came from the pen of the late 
Dr. Geddes, who has been already mentioned, 
and is written with his usual learning and inge- 
nuity. It is, indeed, a singular performance^ and 
well worthy attention. 


THE Greek, or Russian Churchy which now 
sprji^ds itself over the eastern parts of Europe, is 
ancient, and bears a resemblance to the Church 
of Rome. Denying, however, the infallibility 
and supremacy of the Pope, they are in commu- 
3]ion with the Patriarch of Constantinople. 
Amongst other articles of belief, they are dki'm- 
guished for these three : 1. The rejection of ima- 
ges in the worship of the Deity, 2. The doc- 


trine of consubstantiation, or the union of the body 
of Christ with the sacramental element. 3. The 
administration of baptism^ by immersing the 
whole body in water. 

The Russian, or Greek church equals the 
Latin or Romish church in the number of cere- 
monies and superstitious customs ; some of which 
are thus described in Chantreau^s Travels into 
Russia : — '^ At the beginning of the year, the 
king's day is a singular festival, which the Ruii- 
sians call the benediction of w^aters. On the 
Neva, then frozen, there is raised for the cere- 
mony a kind of temple, of an octagonal figure, 
on the top of which is a St. John the Baptist, and 
the inside is decorated with pictures, representing 
the baptism of Jesus, his transfiguration, and 
some other parts of his life. There your atten- 
tion is drawn to an enormous Holy Ghost, ap- 
pearing to descend from heaven, a decoration 
common to all the Greek churches, which intro- 
duces the Holy Ghost every where. In the mid- 
dle of the sanctuary is a square place, w^here the 
broken ice leaves^ a communication with the waters 
running below, and the rest is oniamented with 
rich tapestry. Around this temple there is erected 
a kind of gallery, which communicates with one 
of the windows of the imperial palace, at which 
the empress and her family come out to attend th€ 
ceremony; which begins as soon as the regiment 


of guards have taken post on the river. Then the 
archbishop, at the sound of the bells, and of the 
artillery of the fortress, comes out of the palace, 
and walks in procession, with all his clergy t€> 
the little ten^ple we have just mentioned. When 
arrived at the place where the ice is broken, he 
descends, by means of a ladder, to the side of the 
water. There he dips his cross three or fouv 
times, afterwards says some prayers, an orison to 
the great St. Nicholas, and the waters are then 
thought blessed. The prelate sprinkles the w^ater 
on the company around him, and on the colours 
of all the regiments that happen to be at 6t. Pe- 
tersburg, After this benediction, the archbishop 
retires^ Then the people crawd towards the 
hole, by which this prelate has blessed the waters* 
They drink of them with a holy avidity. Not- 
withstanding the cold, the mothers plunge their 
infants, and the old men their heads, into them. 
Every body makes it a duty to carry away some 
for the purification of their houses, and curing 
certain distempers, against w^hich the good Rus- 
sians pretend this holy water is a powerful spe- 
cific. While every one proceeds to this useful 
provision, four popes, who are at the four corners 
of the sanctuary, sing a kind of litany, in w^hich 
they rehearse all the titles of the empress, and to 
which the people answer by these words. Fame- 
loi Bog — ^May God take pity on her ! 


^' The Russians have a great number of absti- 
nences, or fasts, and among the rest four lents. 
'^ The Greek priests have much more rever- 
ence and meditation in their way of gomg through 
divme service, than the Latin or Romish priests ; 
and the discipline of the church directs, that 
when once a priest is at the altar, he must not re- 
move from it during the time he ought to stand 
there, whatever may happen to him. For in- 
stance ; we are told, that the prelate Gabriel, at 
present metropolitan of Novogorod, and Archi^ 
mandrite, to St. Alexander Neuski^ being one day 
engaged in saying mass at St. Petersburg, the 
house contiguous to the church took fire, and the 
flames reaching the steeple, Gabriel v»^as warned 
of the danger he was in, and yet he stirred not, 
even although he was told a second time, that the 
bells would not be long in biuising him to atoms* 
As the cries of the multitude, conjuring him to 
remove from certain death, made no impression 
on him, one of his relations leaped towards the 
altar, and tore him from it. Scarcely was he 
twenty paces from it, w^hen the steeple fell in 
with a great crash upon the sanctuary !'' 

Efforts have been made to join the Greek to- 
the reformed church ; but hitherto they have 
failed of success. The Rev. Dr.. John King pub- 
lished an account of the doctrine, worship, and 
discipline of the Greek church in Russia. There 


are several particulars to \>e found in the Russian 
Catechism, composed by the Czar, and which was 
pubhshed in London, 1725 j in Robinson's £e- 
clesiastical Researches, and in a work not long 
ago published, entitled. Secret Memoirs of the 
Court of Petersburg. 

That the reader may form some judgment of 
the -present state of the Greek church, the last 
mentioned work presents us with the following 
fact, translated from the Imperial Gazettee of 
Petersburg : 

Petersburg, I7th Dec. 17Q&. 

*' In 1796, a coffin was found at the convent 
©f Sumovin, in the city of Trotma, in the epar- 
chy of Volgoda, containing a corpse, in the habit 
©f a monk. It had been interred in 1568, yet 
was in a state of perfect preservation, as were 
also the garments. From the letters embroidered 
jon them, it w^as found to be the body of the most 
memorable Feodose Sumorin, founder and su- 
perior of the convent, and who had been ac- 
knowledged as a saint during his life, for the 
miracles he had performed.'' It is then stated, 
that the directing synod had made a very humble 
report on this occasion to his Imperial Majesty. 
After w^hich follows the Emperor's ukase or pro^ 

*^ We Paul, &c. having been certified by a 
special report of the most holy synod, of the di3- 


covery that has been made in the convent of 
Spasso-Sumovin, of the miraculous remains of the 
most venerable Feodose, which miraculous re- 
mains distinguished themselves by the happy cure 
of all those who have recourse to them with 
entire confidence : we take the discovery of 
these holy remains as a visible sigUy that the 
Lord has cast his most gracious eye in the most 
distinguished manner on our reign. For this 
reasoji, we offer our fervent prayers and our gra- 
titude to the supreme Dispenser of all things, and 
charge our most holy synod to announce this 
memorable discovery throughout all our empire^ 
s^ccording to the forms prescribed by the hoiy 
church, and by the holy fathers, &c. The 28th 
September, 1798." 

The following anecdote, however, from the 
same work, and on the same subject, almost ex- 
ceeds credibility ; — " I knew a Russian princess, 
who had always a large silver crucifix follow- 
ing her, in a separate carriage, and which she 
usually placed in her bed-chamber. When any 
thing fortunate had happened to her in the course 
of the day, and she was satisfied with her admir- 
ers, she had lighted candles placed about the cru- 
cifix, and said to it in a familiar style — ^^ See^ 
now, as you have been very good to-day, you 
shall be treated well — you shall have candles all 
ni^lit — ^^I will love you— I will pray to you.'' If 


on the contrary, any thing occurred to vex this 
lady, she had the candles put out, forbid the ser- 
vants to pay any homage to th€ poor image, and 
loaded it with reproaches and revilings ! ! !" The 
sluthor closes the chapter with this sensible para- 
graph — ^^ I shall, not particularize all the super- 
stitions with which such a religion, if it deserves 
that name, must necessarily inspire an ignorant 
aind enslaved people. It seems the present policy 
Jto thicken the clouds of error, which the genius 
of Peter, the humanity of Elizabeth, and the phi- 
tosqDhy of Catharine, sought in some degree to 
attenuate. While we pity the state of degrada* 
tion under which a great people crouches, we 
should do justice to the enlightened Russians, by 
whom it is lamented, but they are chained by pre- 
judices, as the giant Gulliver, by the Lilliputians ; 
his bonds were w^eak and imperceptible as his 
enemies were minute, but every one of his hairs 
were seperately fastened to the ground, and he 
was unable to raise his head.'* 

In addition to the books already mentioned, I 
shall close this article of the Greek Churchy wuth 
recommending Mr. Tooke'S History of Russia, 
which may be satisfactorily consulted on this as 
well as on other subjects ; it is replete with in- 



UNDER the appellation of Protestants, we 
include all who dissent from Popery, in whatever 
country they reside, or into whatever sects they 
have been since distributed. Abroad they are 
divided into two sorts — the Lutherans, who ad- 
here to Luther^s tenets ; and the Reformed, who 
follow the discipline of Geneva. They were 
called Protestants, because, in 1592, they jiro- 
tested against a decree of the Emperor Charles 
the Fifth, and declared, that they appealed to a 
general council. At present this vast class com- 
prehends those whom Papists used contemptu- 
ously to sty!e Hugonots in France ; the RefU" 
gees in Holland, who fled thither upon the revo- 
cation of the edict of Nantz, 1685 ; the Presby^ 
terians in Scotland ; the Episcopalians and Non- 
conformists in England ; together with a nume- 
rous body of Christians in America. 

As the Protestants originated at the refor* 
MATION, it will be proper to give a brief account 
of this illustrious period of ecclesiastical history* 



FOR the three first centuries the religion of 
Jesus Christ stood on its own basis, was rapidly 
propagated among Jews and Gentiles, and suffer- 
led severe persecutions from the Roman emperors. 
On the commencement of the fourth century, 
Constantine became a convert to Christianity, and 
incorporated it with the state. ** It was not till 
the fifth, or near the sixth century, that the Bishop 
of Rome arrogantly assumed an illegal supremacy 
over his fellow pastors, and in process of time 
aimed at a secular government of princes as well 
as subjects. Though several emperors embraced 
and defended Christianity, yet .the gradual decay 
of the Roman empire was a serious impediment 
to the rising preachers of the newly established 
religion. Those accomplisements which adorn- 
ed the conquests of the Romans, and the perfec- 
tion of science, which had dignified their state, 
in such an extent, w^ere gradually swept away by 
the barbarous nations w4iich defeated them, and 
the close of the sixth century could not trace^ a 
vestige of that exalted nation's government, or its 
laws. Between four and five hundred years was 
fhe glorious luminary of the gospel eclipsed by 
the dismal return of ignorance and of superstition.* 

* Tlie Crusades, commoijly called the ^ofy •wars, were expe 
dftions undertaken by the Papists to drive the Turks from Pa- 


To these dark ages (as they are by some justly 
termed, and by others, called the night of time) 
are to be attributed the doctrine of indulgences, 
partial absolution, transubstantiation, the creation 
and worship of saints, purgatory, monastic seclu- 
sion, &c. So swift was the extinction of knowl-^ 
edge, and its revival so impeded, that persons of 
the greatest eminence in point of station could 
scarcely read or write. The clergy themselves^ 

lestire, or the land of Judea, and thus to rescue the holy sepul- 
chre out of the hands of Infidels. There were eight of theser 
aiisades, the first in the year 1096, the la&t in 1270, assisted 
by Prince Edward, afterwards Edward I. King of England. 
Tlie number of lives lost inr these Quixotic expeditions, is incre- 
dible ! and it will remain to future ages a matter of astonish- 
ment, how enthusiasm and superstition could so completely in- 
fatuate the human mind. An account of the Crusadas is given 
in Robertson's Charles the Fifth, and in Hume's History of 

The Inquisition was a tribunal erected by the Popes for the 
examination and punishment of heretics* It was founded in 
tlie twelfth century, by Father Dominic and his followers, who 
were sent by Pope Innocent the Third to inquire into the num- 
ber and quality of heretics, and then to send an account to 
Rome. Hence they were termed Inquisitors, and their court 
the Inquisition, This infernal court was established in all Italy 
and the dominions of Spain, except Naples and the Low Coun- 
tries. Its cruelties were shocking beyond description •, and 
were only one half of the bloociy tale true, yet even then there 
is sufficient to freeze you with horror I See Dr. Chandler's 
History of the Inquisition, whidi 13 full of interesting infoiin*- 
tion on the subject. 


who engrossed what little science was remahiing, 
could scarcely translate the liturgy : and^ when 
ordained, were expressly obliged to affirm, that 
they could read the Gospels and Epistles, and 
explain them. 

'^ The REFORMATION was effected in the six- 
teenth century, by the pious labours and unwea- 
ried studies of those bright characters, Erasmus, 
Luther, Huss, Jerome of Prague, &c. and as it 
should seem the particular act of Providence to 
facilitate their labours, and extend their influence, 
we find but half a century before the days of 
Luther, the science of printing was discover- 
ed, and not long before that of the making of 

^^ This indefatigable reformer, having the way 
somewhat cleared for him by Erasmus, had the 
happiness to discover a copy of the Bible in the 
neglected library of his monastery. From so 
valuable a discovery the talents and application 
of this great man were called forth into more 
than ordinary exercise ; and he quickly drew 
aside the veil which had concealed the rooted 
errors and abominations of the priesthood, and 
exposed the craft and artifice which had deluded 
the disciples, and disgraced the doctrine of the 
cross, Unawed by persecuiton, he proceeded 
coolly to examine into the several pretensions and 


• ■ ■ "t *t ■ . " ■ ■ 

inventions of the church of Rome, and over- 
threw them. He asserted and proved, that mo- 
nastic retirement, if not contrary to, was no 
where required by the laws of God ; and pro- 
posed to the elector of Saxony, by whose per- 
mission he reformed the several churches within 
his dominions, to expel all abbots aftd monksj 
and to convert the convents of mendicant friars 
into public schools and hospitals. He proceeded 
to expose all the absurdities and superstitions of 
the Romish church, and had the satisfaction to see 
his cause prevail." BirciVs Concilia. 

Dr. Robertson also observes — ^* It was fi'om 
causes seemingly fortuitous, and from a source 
very inconsiderable, that all the mighty effects of 
the REFORMATION flowed. Leo the Tenth, 
when raised to the papal throne, found, the re- 
venues of the church exhausted by the vast pro- 
jects of his two ambitious predecessors, Alexan- 
der the vSixth, and Julius the Second. His own 
temper naturally liberal and enterprising, render- 
ed him incapable of that severe and patient oecon- 
omy which the situation of his iinances re- 
quired. On the contrary, his schemes for ag- 
grandizing the family of the Medici, his love of 
splendor, his taste for pleasure, and his magnifi- 
cence in rewarding men of genius, involved him 
daily in new expences ; in order to provide a fund 
for which, he tried every device that the fertile 
L 2 


invention of priests had fallen upon to drain the 
credulous multitude. Among others, he had re* 
course to a sale of indulgencies. The right of 
promulgating these indulgencies in Germany, to- 
gether with a share in the profits arising from the 
sale of them, was granted to Albert, Elector of 
Mentz, and Archbishop of Magdeburg, w^ho, as 
his chief agent for retailing them in Saxony, em- 
ployed Tetzel, a Dominican friar, of licentious 
morak^, but of an active spirit, and remarkable 
for his noisy and popular eloquence. He assist- 
ed by the monks of his order, executed the com- 
vnission with great zeal and success, but with 
little discretion or decency ; and though, by mag- 
nifying excessively the benefit of their indul- 
gences, and disposing of them at a very low 
price, they carried on for some time an extensive 
and lucrative traflfic among the credulous multi- 
tude ; the extravagance of their assertions, as w^eil 
as the irregularities in their conduct, came at last 
to give general offence. The princes and nobles 
were irritated at seeing their vassals drained of so 
much wealth, in order to replenish the treasury 
of a profuse pontiff. Men of piety regretted the 
delusion of the people, who, being taught to rely 
%r the pardon of their sins on the indulgences 
which they purclrased, did not think it incuni- 
Dcnt on them cither to abound in faith or to prac- 
tise holiness, JEven the most unthi>iking wer* 


shocked .at the scandalous behaviour of Tet2^1 
and his associates, who often squandered in 
drunkenness, gaming, and low debauchery, those 
sums which were piously bestowed, in hopes of 
obtaining eternal happiness ; and all began to 
wish that some check were given to this com- 
merce, no less detrimental to society, than de- 
structive to religion. 

^* The corrupt state of the church prior to the 
reformation, is acknowledged by an author who 
was both abundantly able to judge concerning 
this matter, and who was not over forward to 
confess it." — ^^ For some years (says Bellarmine) 
before the Lutheran and Calvinistic heresies were 
published, there was not, as contemporary au- 
thors testify, any severity in ecclesiastical judica- 
tories, any discipline with regard to morals, any 
knowledge of sacred literature, and reverence for 
divine things ; there was not almost any religion 
remaining." Such a remarkable confession^ 
made by the avowed champion of popery, should 
not pass unnoticed by protestants ; and before the 
enemies of Protestantism inveigh against the re- 
formation, let them consider its absolute neces- 
sity, and contemplate the innumerable advantages 
with which it was attended. 

A symbolical representation of the RSFQRMA- 
TiON was exhibited before Charles the ^^th, and 
his brother Ferdinand^ at Augsburg^ in 1530^ at 


the time when the Lutherans presented their con- 
fession of faith to that assembly. As the princes 
were at table, a company of persons offered to 
act a small comedy for the entertainment of the 
company. They were ordered to begin ; and 
first entered a man in the dress of a doctor, who 
brought a large quantity of small wood, of straight 
and crooked billets, and laid it on the middle of 
the hearth and retired. On his back was written 
Reuchlin. When this actor w*ent off, another 
entered apparelled also like a doctor, who at- 
tempted to make faggots of the wood, and to fit 
the crooked to the straight ; but having laboured 
long to no purpose, he went away out of humour, 
and shaking his head. On his back appeared the 
name of Erasmus, A third dressed like an Au- 
gustinian monk, came in with a chaffing-dish full 
of fire, gathered up the crooked wood, clapped it 
on the fire, and blew it till he made it burn, and 
went away ; having upon his frock the name of 
Luther. A fourth entered, dressed like an Em- 
peror, who seeing the crooked wood all on fire, . 
seemed much concerned, and to put it out, drew 
his sword, and poked the fire with it, which only 
made it burn the brisker. On his back wrs writ- 
ten Charles the Vth. Lastly, a fifth entered in 
his pontifical habit and triple crown, who seemed 
extremely surprised to see the crooked billets all 
on fire^ and by hiu^ countenance and attitude be- 


trayed excessive grief. Then looking about on 
every side to see if he could find any water to 
extinguish the flame, he casts his eyes on two 
bottles in a corner of the room, one of which was 
full of oil, and the other of water, and in his 
hurry he unfortunately seized the oil, and poured 
it on the fire, which unfortunately made it blaze 
so violently, that he was forced to walk off. On 
his back was written Leo the Xth.^^ 

The reader, who is acquainted with the history 
«f the REFORMATION, will perceive the pro- 
priety of the lively representations here given of 
those several characters, who were instrumental 
in bringing about that memorable event. 

Chillingworth, addressing himself to a 
Roman writer, speaks of the religion of Pro- 
iestants in the following terms,, worthy to be in- 
scribed in letters of gold. — ^^ Know then. Sir, that 
when I say the religion of Protestants is in pru- 
dence to be preferred before your's ; as, on the 
•ne side I do not understand by your religion the 
doctrine of Bellarmine or Baronius, or any other 
private man amongst you, nor the doctrine of the 
Sorbonne, or of the Jesuits, or of the Dominicans, 
•r of any other particular company among you, 
but that wherein you all agree, or profess to 
agree. The Doctrine of the Council of Trent ; 
So accordingly on the other side, by the religion 
of Protestants I do not understand the doctrine 


of Luther or Calvin, or Melancthon, nor the 
confession of Jugsburg, or Geneva, nor the Ca* 
techism of Heidelberg, nor the articles of the 
Church of England — no, nor the harmony of 
Protestant confessions ; but that wherein they 
all agree, and which they all subscribe with a 
greater harmony, as a perfect rule of faith and 
action, that is, THE BIBLE ! The Bible, I 
say, the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants- 
Whatsoever else they believe besides it, and the 
plain, irrefragable, indubitable consequences of it, 
well may they hold it as a matter of opinion ; 
but as a matter of faith and religion, neither can 
they with coherence to their own grounds believe 
it themselves, nor require belief of it of others, 
without most high and most schismatical pre- 
sumption. I, for my part, after a long, (and as 
I verily believe and hope) impartial search of the 
true way to eternal happiness, do profess plainly, 
that I cannot find any rest far the sole of my foot, 
but upon this ROCK only. I see plainly, and with 
my own eyes, that there are Popes against Popes, 
and councils against councils ; some fathers 
against other fathers, the same fathers against 
themselves : a consent of fathers of one age, 
against a consent of fathers of another age ; tra- 
ditive interpretations of scripture are pretended, 
but there are few or none to be found : no tradi- 
tion but that of the scripture can derive itself frons 


the fountain, but may be plainly proved either to 
have been brought in, in such an age after Christ, 
or that in such an age it was not in. In a word, 
there is no sufficient certainty but of scripture 
only for any considering man to build upon. 
This, therefore, and this only, I have reason to 
believe. This I will profess ; according to this^ 
I will live ; and for this, if there be occasion, I 
will not only willingly, but even gladly lose my 
life, though I should be sorry that Christians 
should take it from me. 

^* Propose me any thing out of the book, and 
require whether I believe or no, and seem it never 
«o incomprehensible to human reason, I will 
subscribe it with hand and heart, as knowing 
no demonstration can be stronger than this, God 
hath said so, therefore it is true. In other 
things I will take no man's liberty of judging 
from him ; neither shall any one take mine from 
.me. , I will think no man the worse maUy nor 
the worse Christian ; I will love no man the 
less for differing in opinion from me. And 
what measure I mete to others, I expect from 
them again. I am fiilly assured that God decs 
not, and therefore men ought not, to require any 
more of any man than this — ^^ To believe the 
scripture to be. God^s word ; to endeavour to 
Jmd the true sense of it, and to live according 


"■ ■ ' ' ~. ' ==3— eggsscg 

io z(."* Chillingvvorth^s Works^ fol. edit. 1 742. 
It may be proper to add, that Chillingworth was 
a learned divine of the church of England, 
and lived in the reign of Charles the First. In 

* Our English translation of the Bible was made in the time 
and by tlie appointment of James the First. According to 
Fuller, tlie list of the translators amounted to forty-seven. Tliis 
number was arranged under six divisions, and several parcels 
©f the Bible assigned them. Every one of the company was 
to translate the whole parcel ; then they were to compare these 
together, and wlien any company had finished their part they 
were to communicate it to the other companies, so that no* 
thing should pass without general consent. Tlie names of the 
persons and places where they met together, with the portions 
of scriptures assigned eacli company, are to be found in Jo^n* 
iofi*s Historical Account 0} the several translations of the Bibie, 
These good and learned men entered on their work in the 
spring, 1607, and three years elapsed before the translation 
was finished. 

From the mutability of language, the variation of customs* 
and the progress of knowledge, several passages in the Bible 
require to be newly translated, or to be materially corrected. 
Hence, in the present age, when biblical literature has been 
assiduously cultivated, different parts of the sacred volume 
have been translated by able hands. The substituting • 
new translation of tlie Bible in the room of the one now in 
common use, has been much debated. Dr. Knox, in liis in- 
genious essays, together with others, argues against it, whilst 
Dr. Newcome, the late Lord Primate of Ireland, tlie late 
Dr. Geddes, of the Catholic persuasion, and the late Rev. Gil* 
bert Wakefield, contend strenously for it. The correction 
of several passages, howerer, would deprive Deists of many 


the earlier part of life he embraced the Romish 
rehgion ; but having found, after the most im- 
partial investigation, that it was false and incon* 
elusive, he returned to the communion of the 
church of England, and vindicated the Protestant 
religion, in a work entitled. The Religion of 
Protestants a Safe Way to Heaven. This work^ 
though a folio volume, has gone through many 
editions, and contmues to be held in estimation 
even to the present day. 

Before we quit the subject of the REFOKMA- 
TION, it may not be improper to add a short ac- 
count of the Lutherans. It has been already 
said, that the Protestants were at first divided 
into the Lutherans, who adhere to Luther'^- te- 
nets and the Reformed, who follow the doctrine 
and discipline of Geneva. In other words, Lu- 
ther was at the head of one party ; Calvin the 

of tlieir objections, prevent Christians from being misled into 
some absurd opinions, and be the means of making the scrip- 
tures more intelligible, and consequently moi"e beneficial to the 

Dr. Alexander Geddes, at liis decease, had got as far as the 
Psalms in the translation of the Old Testament. Dr. New~ 
. come and Mr. Wakefield, published entire translations of the 
New Testament, of singular merit and ability. The Rev. Ed- 
mund Butcher, also, of Sidmouth, has laid before the public 9 
Family Bible, in which many of the errors of the common trans- 
lation are corrected, and notes added by way of illustration 
wliilst the text broken down into daily lessons^ is hax)pily adapted 
to the purposes of family devotion. 


chief of the other. The tenets of the latter have 
been specified ; those of the former, thjerefore, 
are the present subject of enquiry. 


THE LuiheranSy of all protestants, are those 
who differ least from the Romish church, as they 
affirm that the body and blood of Christ are ma^ 
terially present in the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper, though in an incomprehensible manner ; 
they likewise represent some religious rites and 
institutions, as the use of images in churches, the 
distinguishing vestments of the clergy, the pri- 
vate confession of sins, the use of wafers in the 
administration of the Lord's Supper, the form of 
exorcism in the celebration of baptism, and other 
ceremonies of the like nature as toleiable, and 
£ome of thenn useful. The Lutherans maintain 
with regard to the divine decrees, that they re- 
spect the salvation or misery of men, in conse- 
quence of a previous knoxdedge of their senti- 
ments and characters, and not as founded on the 
mere ivill of God, which is the tenet of the 
Calvinists. Towards the close of the last cen- 
tury, the Lutherans began to entertain a greater 
liberality of sentiment than they had before adopt- 
ed^ though in many places they persevered lone 


er in severe and despotic principles than other 
protestant churches. Their public teachers now 
enjoy an unbounded liberty of dissenting from 
ihe decisions of those symbols of creeds, which 
were once deemed almost infallible rules of faith 
and practice, and of declaring their dissent in the 
manner they judge most expedient. Mosheim 
attributes this change in their sentiments to the 
maxim which they generall}^ adopted, that CliHs- 
tians xvere accountable to God alone ^ for their 
religious opijiions ; and that no individual could 
be justly punished by the magistrate for his erro- 
neous opinions, while he conducted himself like 
a virtuous and obedient subject and made no at- 
tempts to disturb the peace and order of civil 

It may be added, that Luther's opinion respect- 
ing the sacrament, is termed Consubstantiation^ 
and he supposed that the partakers of the Lord's 
Supper, received along with the bread and wine 
the real body and blood of Christ^ This, says 
Dr. Mosheim, in their judgment was a mystery, 
which they did not pretend to explain.. But his 
-translator. Dr. Maclaine,. justly remarks, " That 
Luther was not so modest as Dr. Mosheim here 
represents him. Ke pretended to explain this 
doctrine of the real presence^ absurd and contra- 
dictory as it is, and uttered much senseless jargon 
on the subject. As in a red-hot iron^ said he^ 


two distinct substances, viz. iron and Jire are 
)mited, so is the body of Christ jomed with the 
bread in the eucharist* I mention this miserable 
comparison, to shew into what absurdities th^ 
towering pride of system will often betray me}\ 
of deep sense and true genius." 

Such is the account given of the LUTHERANS 
in a respectable work, and it appears to be found- 
ed in truth. I shall only remark, that according 
to the above sketch, Lutlier differed considerably 
from Calvin, respecting election and reprobation, 
and as to the principle, that Christians are ac- 
countable to God alone, for their religious opin- 
ions, it is a sentiment worthy of a great and ele- 
vated mind. It is the corner stone on which the 
reformation has been raised. It is the only true 
foundation of religious improvement, and wherc- 
ever it is sincerely embraced, will check every 
degree of uncharitableness and persecution^ and 
forward the blessed reign of love and charity 
amongst the professors of Christianity.* 

* In 5''Zi'//>'/ well known Ta/e of a Tub, he satirises three 
distinct classes of religious professors- — the Church of Rome 
under the appellation of Ptter^ whose keys for an admission into 
heaven are supposed to be in their possession — the Church of 
England, under the name of Martin, because its reformation ori- 
ginated with Martin Luther — and the Dissenters under the 
name oiJack^ on account of the principles of Jolm Calvin being 
so prevalent Mnongst them. 



THE appellation Hugonois, was given to the 
French Protestants in 1561. The term is (by 
some supposed to be derived from a gate in 
Tours^ called Hugon, where they first assem- 
bled. According to others, the name is taken 
from the first words of their original protest, or 
confession of faith — Hue nos venimuSj &c. 
During the reign of Charles the Ninth, and on 
the 24th of August, 1572, happened the mas- 
sacre of Bartholomew, when 70,000 Protes- 
tants throughout France were butchered, with 
circumstances of aggravated cruelty. It^ began 
at Paris in the night of the festival of Bartholo- 
mew, by secret orders from Charles the Ninth, 
at the instigation of hia mother, the Queen 
Dowager Catherine de Medicis. See Sully's 
Memoirs, and also a fine description of it in the 
second canto of Voltaire's Henriade, 

In 1598, Henry the Fourth passed the famous 
Edict of NantZy which secured to his old friends 
the Protestants the free exercise of their religion. 
This edict was cruelly revoked by Lewis the 
Fourteenth. Their churches were then erased to 
the ground ; their persons insulted by the soldiery, 
and, after the loss of innumerable lives, 50,000 


valuable members of society were driven into ex- 
ile ! In Holland they built several places of wor- 
ship, and had among them some distinguished 
preachers. Among others were Superville, Du- 
mont, Dubosc, and the elegant Saurin, five vol- 
umes of whose select sermons were translated in- 
to our language by the late Mr. Robinson of Cam- 
bridge, and the sixth by the late Dr. Hunter. In 
one of these sermons Saurin makes the following 
fine apostrophe to the tyrant, Lewis the Four- 
teenth, by whom they were driven into exile, it 
breathes a noble spirit of Christianity — ^< And 
thou, dreadful prince, w^hom 1 once honoured as 
my king, and whom I yet respect as a scourge in 
the hand of Almighty God, thou also shalt have a 
part in my good wishes ! These provinces, which 
lliou threatenest, but which the arm of the Lord 
protects. ; this country, which thou fillest with re- 
fugees, but fugitives animated with love : these 
walls, which contain a thousand martyrs of thy 
shaking, but whom religion renders victorious, 
all these 3''et resound benedictions in thy favour. 
God grant the fatal bandage that hides the truth 
from thy eyes may fall oiF ! May God forget the 
rivers of blood with which thou hast deluged the 
earth, and which thy reign hath caused to be 
shed ! May God blot out of his book the injuries 
which thou hast done us, and while he rewards 
the sufferers, may he pardon those who exposed 


US to suffer ! O may God, who hath made thee 
to us, and to the whole w^orld, a minister of his 
judgments, make thee a dispenser of his favours, 
and administrator of his mercy !'* 

About the time of the revolution, 1688, there 
were many controversies between the Protestant 
and the Popish divines. Tillotson and Burnet, 
two clergymen of the church of England, ren- 
dered Protestantism great service by their writ- 
ings ; and were, on that account, elevated to the 
Bench by King William of immortal memory. 
There are also two excellent volumes of Sermons 
against Popery, preached in the early part of 
last century, by various dissenting ministers, at 
Salter'^s Hall. See also a sermon by the Rev. 
Robert Winter, entitled, '^ Rejections on the 
present State of Popery,^^ delivered at Salter's 
Hall, November 1800 ; from the perusal of 
which the reader will find much satisfaction. 
Burnet's History of the Reformation, and The 
History of his Own Times, published after his 
death by his son, are two works which throw 
light on the state of religion in the last and pre- 
ceding centuries among Papists, Churchmen, and 
Dissenters. The merit of these publications, 
particularly the latter, is judiciously appreciated 
by Dr. Kippis, under the article Burnet, in the 
Biographia Britannica* To these may now be 


added a Dejence of Protestantism^ by Dr. Stur- 
geSy in his answer to Mr. Milner, who, in his 
Historii of Winchestery takes every opportunity 
of reprobating the protestant religion, and of 
erecting on its ruins his beloved edifice of po- 
pery, Dr. S. shews the rise, progress, and ten- 
dency of the Romish religion ; animadverts with 
spirit on the calumnies by which his antagonist 
had endeavoured to blacken the characters of the 
reformers : and, finally, he proves the protestant 
re^gion bj^ its views of the Divine Being, and by 
its regards for the rights of mankind, to be the 
mly true and primitive Christianity, 




THE Episcopalians, m the modern accepta- 
tion of the term, belong more especially to the 
Church of England, and derive this title from 
Episcopus, the Latin word for bishop ; or, if it 
be referred to its Greek origin, from ScopeOy to 
look, Epi over, implying the care and dilligence 
with which bishops are expected to preside over 
those committed to their guidance and direction. 
They insist on the divine origin of their bishops'. 


and other church officers, and on the alliance be- 
tween the church and state. Respecting these 
subjects, however, Warburton and Hoadly, to- 
gether with others of the learned amongst them, 
have different opinions, as they have also on their 
thirty-nine articles ; which were established in 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth. They are to be 
found in most Common Prayer Books ; and the 
Episcopal church in America has reduced their 
number to twenty. By some, these articles are 
made to speak the language of Calvinism, and by 
others have been interpreted in favour of Armin- 
ianism. Even at this time the controversy is agi- 
tated — and the publications of Overton, Kipling, 
and Daubeny, together with the recent Charge of 
the Bishop of Lincoln, may be consulted on the 
subject. The doctrines and discipline of the 
Church of England are nearly connected with the 
reformation of Luther in Germany, and also with 
the state of ecclesiastical affairs foi* a considerable 
time before that reformation commenced. 

Eusebius possitively asserts, that Christianity 
w^as first ijitroduced into South Britain by the 
apostles and their disciples ; and it is supposed 
that the apostle Paul visited this country, whose 
zeal, diligence, and fortitude, were abundant. It 
is also said, that numbers of persons professed 
the Christian faith here about the year 150; and 
according to Usher, there was in the year 182, a 


school of learning, to provide the British churches 
with proper teachers. On the subject of the first 
introduction of Christianity into this island, the 
reader is referred to the first volume of Henry-s 
History of Great Britainy where his curiosity 
will be gratified. 

John Wickliffe, educated at Oxford, in the 
reign of Edward the Third, was the first person 
in this country who publicly questioned, and 
boldly refuted the doctrines of Popery. He left 
behind him many followers, who were called 
Wickliffites and Lollards ; the latter being a 
term of reproach taken from the Flemsih tongue. 
In the council of Constance, 1415, the memory 
and opinions of WicklifFe (who died peaceablj' at 
Lutterworth, 1384,) were condemned, and soon 
after his bones were dug up and burnt. This im- 
potent rage of his enemies served only to pro- 
mote the cause of reform which A'N'ickliffe had 
espoused. It is with a view to the subsequent 
extension of his doctrine that the judicious Rapia 
observes — ^^ His ashes were thrown into the brook 
which runs through tiie town of Lutterworth, the 
brook conveyed the ashes to the Severn, and the 
Severn to the Sea !" 

The Church of England broke off from the 
Romish church in the time of Henr}^ the Eighth, 
when (as has been already related) Luther had 
began the reformation in Germany. In earlier 


and during the earlier part of his reign, Henry 
was a bigotted Papist, burnt William Tyndal, wh© 
made one of the first and best English translations 
of the New Testament^ and wrote fircely in de- 
fence of the seven sacraments against Luther, for 
which the Pope honoured him with the title De- 
fender of the Faith ! This title is retained by 
the kings of England even to the present day, 
though they are the avowed enemies of those 
opinions, by contending for which he acquired that 
honourable distinction. Henry, falling out with 
the Pope, took the government of ecclesiastical 
affairs into his own hands ; and, having reff^i-med 
many enormous abuses, entitled himself Supreme 
Head of the Church. 

- When the reformation in England first took 
place, efforts were made to promote the reading 
cf the scriptures among tlie common people. 
Among other devices for the purpose, the follow- 
ing curious one was adopted. Bonner, Bishop 
of London, caused six Bibles to be chained to cer- 
tain convenient places in St. Paul's church, for 
all that were so well inclined to resort there ; to- 
gether with a certain admonition to the readers, 
fastened upon the pillars to which the Bibles were 
chained, to this tenor — ^^ That whosoever came 
there to read, should prepare himself to be edi- 
fied, and made the better, thereby ; that he bring 
Avith him discretion, honest intent, charity, rever- 


ence, and quiet behaviour ; that there should 
no such numbermeet together there as to make 
a multitude ; that no such exposition be made 
thereupon but what is declared in the book itself; 
that it be not read with noise in time of divine 
service, or that any disputation or contention be 
used about it ; that in case they continued their 
former misbehaviour, and refused to comply with 
these directions, the king would be forced against 
his will to remove the occasion, and take the 
Bible out of the church," See Johnson's His- 
torical account of the several English Translations 
of the Bible, and the opposition they met with 
from the Church of Rome. 

The Church of England is governed by the 
KING, who is the supreme head : by two arch- 
bishops, and by twenty-four bishops. The bene- 
fices of the bishops were converted by William 
the Conqueror into temporal baronies ; so that 
€very prelate has a seat and vote in the House of 
'Peers. Dr. Benjamin Hoadley, however, in a 
sermon preached from this text, my kingdom is 
not of this world^ insisted that the clergy had no 
pretensions to temporal jurisdictions, which gave 
rise to various publications, termed b}^ w-ay of 
eminence tlie Bangarian Controversy, for Hoad- 
ley was then Bishop of Bangor.-^ There is a 

* Tlie m^vnoTf cf tliis eminent prelate Uas been insulted by 


bishop ofSodor and Man, who has no seat m the 
House of Peers ; and a late prelate of this see 
was the amiable and learned Dr. Wilson. Since 
tlie death of the intolerant Archbishop Laud, men 
of moderate principles have been raised to the see 
of Canterbury, and this hath tended not a little to 
the tranquihty of church and state. The estab- 
lished church of Ireland is the same as the 
church of England, and is governed by four arch- 
bishops and eighteen bishops. Since the union 
of Ireland with Great Britain, four only of these 
spiritual Lords sit in the House of Lords, assem- 
bled at Westminster. 

In the course of the last century disputes arose 
among the English clergy respecting the propriety 
of subscribing to any human formulary of religious 
sentiments. An application for its removal w^as 
made to Parliament in 1772, by the petition- 
ing clergy, and received, as it deserved, the most 
public discussion in the House of Commons. The 
third edition of Archdeacon Blackburn's excellent 
Confessional, was published 1770, two years pre- 
vious to the presentation of this clerical petition, 
when the long controversy in consequence of the 
work, was closed, and indeed introductory to the 
application to Parliament pending, by w^hich the 

Mr. Miifier in liis History of Winchester^ but Mr. Hoadley, Ashe 
and Dr. Sturges have amply vindicated it. 


controversy was renewed. Mr. Dyer-s Treatise 
against subscription, appeared many years after- 
wards. Some respectable clergymen were so im- 
pressed with the impropriety of subscription, that 
they resigned their livings, and published reasons 
for their conduct. Among these, the names of 
Robertson^ Jebb, Matty, Lindsey, and Disney, 
will be long remembered. Several others, in- 
deed, resigned preferments held by the same tenure 
"for similar reasons, without giving such reasons 
to the public, as Mr. Tyrwhitt, Mr. Wakefield, 
&c. and it has been said that many moi^ reluc- 
tantly continue in their conformity, under the 
contest between their convictions and their ina- 
bility from various causes to extricate themselves, 
Jbut w^ho will never repeat their subscriptions. 
The Rev, T. Lindsey, however, withdrew from 
the church, because he objected to the trinity ; 
professing to worship the Father only as one true 
God, to the exclusion of Jesus Christ and of the 
Holy Spirit, as objects of worship. See ^^ The 
Book of Common Prayer Reformed,^^ used at 
Essex *reet Chapel ; a new edition of which ha^^ 
been lately published. 

Attempts have been made to amend the articles^ 

■ the liturgy, and some things w^hich related to the 

internal government of the church of Englandc 

Dr. Watson, the present Bishop of Landaff, wrot 

a Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury. \ 


the year 1781^ in which he argues for the pro- 
priety of a more equal distribution of salary 
among the different orders of the clergy. But 
this plan, projected by the worthy prelate, to« 
gether with the preceding proposals for reform by 
the authors of the Free and Candid Disquisi- 
tionsy and of the Appeal to Reason and Candor^ 
have been suffered to sink into oblivion. The 
church of England has produced a succession of 
eminent men. Among its ornaments are to be 
reckoned UslieVy Rally Taylor, StilUngJieet^ 
Cudworthy WilkinSy TillotsoUy Cumberland, Bar- 
rowy Burnet y Pearson, Hammondy Whitby , Clark, 
Hoadley, JortiUy Seckery Home, Lowth, and War- 
burton. In the Appendix to Mosheim^s Ecclesi- 
astical History, will be found a circumstantial 
account of the correspondence carried on in the 
year 1718, between Dr. Wm. Wake, Archbishop 
of Canterbury, and certain doctors of the Sor- 
bonne, of Paris, relative to a project of union be- 
tween the English and Galilean churches. Hook- 
er^s Ecclesiastical Polity — Pearson on the Creed, 
Burnet on the Thirty-nine Articles, and Bishop 
Prettyman's Elements of Theology,^ are deem- 
ed the best defences of Episcopacj\ 

In Scotland, and other parts, since the revolu- 

* Mr. Willijm Frend^ the celebrated mathematician, late of 
Cambridge, published a series of letters to this prelate by way 
of reply to certain passages in his Elements of Tb^logy, 


tion, there existed a species of Episcopalians called 
Non-jurors, because being inflexibly attached to 
the StuartSy who were then driven from the 
throne, they refused to take the oath of allegiance 
to the Brimsimck family. On the decease, how- 
ever, of the Pretender, whom the Non-jurors 
stiled Prince Charles, and w^ho died at Rome, 
1788, they complied with the requisition of gov- 
ernment, and now the distinction isi abolished. 
An account of them will be found in Bishop 
Skinner^s Ecclesiastical History. 

The reformation in England, began under the 
auspices of Henry the Eighth, was greatly check- 
ed by Mary, who proceeded like a female fury 
to re-establish Popery. In her sanguinary reign 
were burnt one archbishop, four bishops, twenty- 
one divines, eight gentlemen, one hundred and 
eighty-four artificers, and one hundred husband- 
men, servants, and labourers ; twenty-six wives, 
twenty widows, and nine virgins, two boys, and 
two infants ! ! ! On the death of Mary, 1558, 
fihzabeth ascended the throne, repealed the laws 
which had been established in favour of Popery, 
and restored her supremacy. In these matters 
she wonderfully succeeded, since of v9,400 bene- 
ficed clergymen, about 120 only refused to com- 
ply with the reformation. The establisment of 
Protestantism in Eijgland underwent various fluc- 
tuations till the glorious revolution under Wil- 


> . ■ ■ . 

liam, in 1688, placed it on a firm and permanent 
foundation. The family of the Stuarts were bit- 
ter enemies to the civil and religious liberties of 
their subjects, and violently attached to Popery, 
Dr. Goldsmith tells us, in his history of England, 
that James the Second, in endeavouring to con- 
vert his subjects to the Popish religion, descended 
so low as Colonel Kirke* But that daring and 
unprincipled soldier assured his majesty that he 
was pre-engaged, for that if ever he did change 
his religion, he had promised the Emperor of Mo- 
rocco when quartered at Tangier, to turn Ma- 
hometan ! 

Mn Gisborne, in his excellent Familiar Sur- 
vey of the Christian Religion, has the following 
remarks on church government : — ^^ In every 
community or body of men, civil or ecclesiasti- 
cal, some species of government is requisite for 
the good of the whole. Otherwise all is irregu- 
larity, and interminable confusion. How then 
in any particular country is the Christian church 
to be governed ?'' ^^ Every separate congrega- 
tion," answers the independent, ^' is a sovereign 
church amenable to no extrinsic jurisdiction, and 
entitled to no jurisdiction over other churches." 
^^ That mode of government," replies the Pres^ 
lyterian, ^^ is calculated to destroy union, co-ope- 
ration, and concord among Christians. All con- 
gregations within the same, which agree in doc- 


trine, ou^Kt to be under the general superin- 
tendence of a riepresentative assembly composed 
of their ministers and delegates.'^ " Such a re- 
presentative assembly," returns the Episcopalian, 
^^ wants vigour and dispatch, and is perpetually 
open to tumult &nd partiality, and faction. Di- 
vide the country into dioceses, and station a 
bishop in each, armed with sufficient authority, 
and restrained by adequate laws, from abusing it. 
Such was the apostolic governiVient of the church 
»— -such, perhaps," he adds, '^ was the govern- 
ment enjoined on succeeding ages." ^^ Away," 
cries the Papist, " with these treasonable discus- 
sions. The Pope, the successor of St. Peter, is 
by divine right the only source of ecclesiastical 
power, the universal monarch of the universal 

Writing as I am to Protestants, I nriay pa^s by 
the claim of the successor of St. Peter. But the 
concluding words of the Episcopalian are of prime 
importance. If Christ or his apostles enjoined 
the uniform adoption of Episcopacy, the question 
is decided. Did Christ then or his apostles de- 
liver or indirectly convey such an injunction ? 
This topic has been greatly controverted. The 
fact appears to be this — that our Saviour did not 
pronounce upon the subject ; that the apostles 
uniformly established a bishop in every district, 
as soon as the church in that district became iiu- 

dissenters; 163 

merous, and thus clearly evinced their judgment 
as to the form of ecclesiastical government, most 
advantageous at least in those days to Christian- 
ity ; but that they left no command^ which ren- 
dered Episcopacy universally indispensible in fu- 
ture times, if other forms should evidentiy pro- 
mise, through local opinions and circumstances, 
greater benefit to religion. Such is the general 
sentiment of the present church of England on 
the subject." Bishop Prettyman has expres$ed 
himself much after the same manner in his Ele- 
ments of Theology.^ -^^, 


Dissenters from the church of England made 
their first appearance in dueen Elizabeth's time, 
when, on account of the extraordinary purity 
which they proposed in religious worship and 
conduct, they were reproached with the name of 
Puritans. They were greatly increased by the 
act of uniformity, which took place on Barthol- 
omew-day, 1662, in the reign of Charles the 

* As the established church in Ireland is the same with that 
of England — so are also the Dissenters of much the same com- 
plection. The Papists, indeed, are very numerous there — as 
are likewise the Presbyterians in the North of Ireland. Aber- 
nethy, who wrote on the Attributes of God, and Duchal, who 
wrote on the Internal Ruidences of Christianity were ministers 
of eminence amongst tliem. 


Second. By this act 2,000 ministers were obli- 
ged to quit the established church, refusing to con- 
form to certain conditions, whence they were 
Galled Nonconformists. An instructive and en- 
tertaining account of the lives, literature, and 
piety of these good men, is to be found in Palmer^s 
NonconformisVs Memorial^ of which work there 
is a new and improved edition, lately published in 
three volumes. Their descendants are know^n by 
the name oi Protestant DissenterSy and rank un- 
der the three respectable denominations of Pres- 
byteriansj Independents, and Baptists. 

Of the origin and progress of the Dissenters, 
a full account is contained in NeaVs History of 
the Puritans/^ an improved edition of which 
work has been published by Dr. Toulmin, of 
Taunton, who has accompanied it with notes, in 
which are obviated the objections which have 
been made to it by Grey, Maddox, Warburton, 
and others. Here the historian traces,, step by 
step, the differences which originally occasion- 

* It is remarkable, that little notice is taken in this work of 
Joh Bu/tjan, the celebrated author of Pilgrim's Progress ; he 
was twelve years in Bedford Goal, and therefore deserves to 
have been particularly mentioned, were it only for liis sufferings 
as a Protestant Dissenter, But Crosby, in his Jfistovy of the Pa- 
pists, acaises Neal of not having txeated the Baptists in that 
work with impartiality. 


ed the separation, and an affecting narrative is 
given of the sufferings which our forefathers were 
doomed to undergo in the cause of religious liber- 
ty. A brief history of the Puritans also was 
published in 1772, of which the author, the Rev. 
J. Cornish, has given an enlarged and pleasing 
edition. The principles on which the Dissenters 
separate from the church of England are much 
the same with those on which she separates her 
self from the church of Rome. They may be 
summarily comprehended in these three ; 1. The 
right of private judgment. 2. Liberty of Con- 
science. And 3. The perfection of scripture as 
a Christian's only rule of faith and practice. 

The late pious and learned Dr. Taylor, of 
Norwich, thus expressed himself concerning the 
principles and worship of the Dissenters—*^ The 
principles and worship of Dissenters are not 
formed upon such slight foundation as the un- 
learned and thoughtless may imagine. They 
were thoroughly considered and judiciously re- 
duced to the standard of scripture and the writ- 
ings of antiquity, by a great number of men of 
learning and integrit}^ I mean the Bartholo- 
mew divines, or the ministers ejected in the year 
1662, men prepared to lose all, and to suffer 
martyrdom itself, and who actually resigned their 
livings (which with most of them were, under 
God^ all that they and their families had to sub-. 


sist upon) rather than sin against God and desert 
the cause of civil and religious liberty, which to- 
gether with serious religion would, I am per 
suaded, have sunk to a very low ebb iii the na 
tion, had it not been for the bold and noble stand 
these worthies made against imposition upon con- 
science, prophaneness, and arbitrary power. They 
had the best education England could afford, most 
of them were excellent scholars, judicious di- 
vines, pious, faithful, and laborious ministers, of 
great zeal for God and religion, undaunted and 
courageous in their Master's work, standing clos€ 
to their people in the worst of times, diligent in 
their studied, solid, affectionate, powerful, awaken- 
ing preachers, aiming at the advancement of real 
vital religion in the hearts and lives of men, which 
it cannot be denied, flourished greatly w^herever 
they could influence. Particularly they were men 
of great devotion and eminent abilities in prayer, 
uttering as God enabled them from the abun- 
dance of their hearts and affections; men of divine 
eloquence in pleading at the throne of grace, 
raising and melting the affections of their hearers, 
and being happily instrumental in transfusing into 
their souls the same spirit and heavenly gift. And 
this was the ground of all their other qualifica- 
tions, they were excellent men, because excellent, 
instant, and fervent in prayer. Such were tlie 
fathers ^ndjirst forjne7*s of the Dissenting ift- 


terest. Let my soul be for ever with the souls 
^f these men.^^ 

The Test Jet excludes Dissenters from filling 
public offices, except they take the sacrament at 
the established church, which some think cannot 
be consistently done by any conscientious Dis- 
senter. Hence loud complaints have been raised 
respecting this exclusion, since, as members of 
the civil community, tbey are entitled to all the 
common privileges of that community. The 
Test Act was originally levelled against the 
Roman Catholics* The Dissenters have made 
several unsuccessful applications for its repeal. 
The question was warrAly agitated in the House of 
Commons, 1787, and on each side numerous 
publications issued from the press. The chief 
argument urged for the continuance of the Test 
^ct is the safety of the estaUished church. The 
principal arguments alledged for its repeal are, 
that it is a prostitution of the Lord^s Supper^ and 
<hat to ivithold civil rights on account of religious 
IbjnnionSy is a species of persecution. 
'■: The Dissenters, as a body, have not been un- 
fruitful of great and learned men. Among theijr 
ornaments are to be ranked Baxter, Bates, Howe, 
Owen, Williams, Neal, Henry, Stennet, Evans, 
Gale, Foster, Leland, Grosvenor, Watts, Lard- 
5ner, Aberncthy, Doddridge, Grove, Chandler, 
Gill, Orton, Farneaux,' Farmer, To wgood, Rob- 


insoiij and Price. Though (as enemies have 
suggested) it may happen that among Dissenters 
sufficient encouragement is not given in certain 
cases to men of talents and integrity, yet among 
their more liberal denominations, it must be con- 
fessed, that a dissenting minister may, unawed by 
a conclave of cardinals — a bench of bishops — or 
a board of ministers — exercise in its fullest ex- 
tent the right of private judgment, which is the 
pride and pleasure of the human mind. In 
Pierce's Vindication of the Dissenters, Tow- 
good's Letters to White, and Palmer's Protestant 
Dissenter^s Catechism, are stated the grounds 
upon which their dissent from the establishedL 
church is founded, ^1 


THE members of the Kirk of Scotland are 
strictly speaking, the only Presbyterians in 
Great Britain. Their mode of ecclesiastical gov^ 
ernment was brought thither from Geneva by 
John Knox, the celebrated Scotch reformer 
who has been stiled the apostle of Scotland, for 
the same reason that Luther was called the apostle 
of Germany. 

Contrary to the Episcopalians, the Presbyteri- 
ans maintain that the church should be govern- 


ed by Presbyteries, Synods, and general Assenri- 
blies. The title Presbyterian comes from the 
Greek word Presbutcros^ which signifies senior 
or elder. In the Kirk of Scotland there are fif- 
teen synods and sixty-nine presb3^teries. Their 
articles are Calvinistic, and their general assembly 
is held annually in the month of May at Edin- 
burgh. Dreadful scenes took place in Scotland 
previous to the establishment of Presbyterianism 
in its present form at the revolution, and its con- 
firmation in 1706, by the act of union between 
the two kingdoms. During the commonwealth, 
Presbyterianism was the establised religion, but 
on the restoration Episcopacy was introduced in 
its room. So averse, however, were the Scotch 
to the Episcopalians, and so harsh were the mea- 
sures of the Episcopalian party, that the whole 
country was thrown into confusion. Leighton, 
the most pious and moderate prelate amongst 
them, disgusted with the procedings of his breth- 
ren, resigned his bishopric, and told the kinc^. 
'^ He w^ould not have a hand in such oppressive 
measures, were he sure to plant the Christian re- 
ligion in an infidel country by them ; much less 
when they tended only to alter the form of church 
government." On the other hand. Sharp, Arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews, adopted violent measures, 
which terminated in his death. For in 1679, nine 
ruffians stopped his coach near St. Andrew^s, 


assassinated him, and left his body covered with 
thirty-two wounds. On the monument of this 
unfortunate prelate, in one of the churches of St. 
Andrew's, I have seen an exact representation in 
elegant sculpture of this tragical €V€nt. 

It was in these troubled times that the Presby- 
terians drew up their famous solemn league and 
covenant, whereby they bound themselves to ef- 
fect the extirpation of episcopacy. The Scotch 
church, however, is now considerably improved 
in sentiment and liberality, and some of their 
clergy stand foremost in the several departments 
of literature, Robertson, Henry, Leechman, 
Blacidock, Gerard, Campbell, Blair, and Hun- 
ter, all recently deceased, are among its principal 
ornaments. In a selection of sermons, entitled 
the Scotch Preacher, will be found a pleasing 
specimen of the pulpit compositions of the Scotch 
clergy, delivered on particular occasions. 


DISSENTERS from the Kirk or Church of 
;S.cotland, call themseivjes Seceders ; for as the 
term Dissenter comes from the Latin word dis- 
sentio, to jdiffer, so the appellation Seceder is de- 
rived from another Latin word secedo, to separate 
or tD withdraw from any body of men with which 


we may have been united. The Seceders are ri- 
gid Calvinists, rather austere in their manners^ 
and in their diisciphne. Through a difference as 
to civil matters they are broken down into Bur- 
ghers and Jnti'burghers. Of these two classes 
the latter are the most confined in their senti- 
ments, and associate therefore the least with any 
other body of Christians. The Seceders origi- 
nated under two brothers,, Ralph and Ebenezer 
Erskine, about the 3^ear 1730. It is worth}^ of 
observation, that the Rev. George Whitfield, in 
one of his visits to Scotland, was solemnly re- 
probated by the Seceders^ because he refused to 
confine his itinerant labours wholly to them. The 
reason assigned for this monopolization was, that 
they were EXCLUSIVELY God's people ! Mr. 
Whitfield smartly replied, that they had there- 
fore the less ?ieed of his services, for hh aim was 
to turn sinners from the error and wickedness of 
their ways by preaching among them^ glad tidings 
of great joy ! 

There is also a species of Dissenters from the 
church of Scotland called Relief y whose only dif- 
ference from the Kirk is, the choosing of their 
own pastors. They are respectable as to num- 
bers and ability. 

The reformation iri Scotland, like that in Eng- 
land and Germany, struggled with a long series 
of opposition, and was at length gloriously tri- 


umphant. Dr. Gilbert Stezvart, thereforG_, closes 
his History of the Reformation in North Britain 
with the following animated reflections : 

*^ From the order and the laws of our nature it 
perpetually happens that advantages are mixed 
with misfortune. The conflicts which led to a 
purer religion, while they excite under one aspect 
the liveliest transports of joy, create in another a 
mournful sentiment of sympathy and compassion. 
Amidst the felicities which w^ere obtained, and 
the trophies which were won, we deplore the mel- 
ancholy ravages of the passions, and w-eep over 
the ruins of ancient magnificence. But while the 
contentions and the ferments of men, even in 
the road to improvements and excellence, are 
ever destined to be polluted with mischief and 
blood ; a tribute of the highest panegyric and 
praise is yet justly to be paid to the actors in the 
reformation. They gave way to the movements 
of a liberal and a resolute spirit. They taught 
the rulers of nations that the obedience of the 
subject is the child of justice, and that men must 
be governed by their opinions and their reason. 
This magnanimity is illustrated by great and con- 
spicuous exploits, which at the same time that 
they awaken admiration, are an example to sup- 
port and animate virtue in the hour of trial and 
peril. The existence of civil liberty w^as deeply 
venuected \vith the doctrines fer which they con^ 


tended and fought. While they treated with 
scorn an abject and cruel superstition, and lifted 
and subUmed the dignity of man, by calling his 
attention to a simpler and a wiser theology, they 
were strenuous to give a permanent security to 
the political constitution of their state. The 
happiest and the best interests of society were the 
objects for which they buckled on their armour^ 
and to wish and to act for their duration and sta- 
bility, are perhaps the most important employ- 
ments of patriotism and public affection. The 
reformation may suffer fluctuation in its forms^ 
but, for the good and the prosperity of mankind^, 
it is to be hoped that it is never to yielcj and to 
submit to the errors and the superstition it over- 

Having mentioned that the church of Scotland 
is composed of a General Assembly — Synods and 
Presbyteries — to these must be added the Kirk 
Sessions-'^made up of the Pastor, Pvuling Elders, 
and Deacons ; though the business of the last is 
to attend to the temporalities of the church. Nor 
ought it to be forgotten that both classes of the 
Seceders and the Relief Body, including about 
three hundred ministers are strict Presbyterians., 
notwithstanding their secession, or dissent from 
the Scotch Establishment. 




BUT the appellation Presbyterian is in Eng- 
land appropriated to a large denomination of Dis- 
s^enters, who have no attachment to the Scotch 
mode of church government, any more than to 
Episcopacy amongst us, and therefore to this 
body of Christians the term Presbyterian in its 
original sense is improperly applied. How this 
misapplication came to pass cannot be easily de- 
termined, but it has occasioned miany wrong no- 
tions, and should therefore be rectified. English 
Presbyterians, as they are called, adopt the same 
mode of church government with the independ- 
ents, which is the next sect to be mentioned. 
Their chief difference from the Independents is, 
that they are less attached to Calvinism, and con- 
sequently admit a greater latitude of religious 

Dr. Doddridge in his Lectures has this para- 
graph on the subject, which may serve still fur- 
ther for its illustration. " Those who hold every 
vastor to be as a bishop or overseer of his own 
congregation, so that no other person or body of 
men have by divine institution a power to exercise 
any superior or pastoral office in it, may, properly 
speaking, be called (so far at least) congrega- 
tional ; and it is by a vulgar mistake that any 
such are called PrcsbyierianS;, for the Prcsby- 


terian discipline is exercised by synods and as- 
semblies, subordinate to each other, and all of 
them subject to the authority of what is common- 
ly called a General AssemUyJ^^ This mode of 
church government is to be found in Scotland^ 
and has been already detailed under a former ar- 
ticle in this work. 


THE Independents or CongregationalistSf 
deny not only the subordination of the clergy, but 
also all dependency on other assemblies. Every 
congregation (say they) has in itself what is ne- 
cessary for its own government, and is not sub- 
ject to other churches or to their deputies. Thus 
this independency of one church with respect to 
another has given rise to the appellation Inde- 
pendents ; though this mode of church govern- 
ment is adopted by the Dissenters in general. 
The Independents have been improperly con- 
founded with the BrownistSy for though they 
may have originally sprung from them, they exr 
eel them in the moderation of their sentiments, 
and in the order of their discipline. The first 
Independent or Congregational Church in Eng- 
land was established by a Mr, Jacob^ in the year 


1616 ; though a Mr. Robinson appears to have 
been the founder of this sect. 


THE Brownists, which have been just men- 
tioned, were the followers of Robert Brown, 2l 
clergyman of the church of England, who lived 
about 1600. He inveighed against the ceremo- 
nies and discipline of the church, separated him- 
self frcm her communion, and afterwards return- 
ed into her bosom. He appears to have been a 
persecuted man, of violent passions. He died in 
Northampton goal, 1630, after boasting that he 
had been committed to thirty-two prisons, in some 
of which he could not see his hand at noon day ! 


BEFORE we proceed to the Baptists, it will 
be necessary just to remark, that all persons who 
baptize infants^ are denominated PcsdobaptistSy 
from the Greek word, PaiSy which signifies child 
or infant, and Bapto to baptize. Of course the 
^Established Church, . the Presbyterians both in 
Scotland and England, together with the Indc. 
pendents, are all Ptedobaptists ; that is, baptize; 
of infants or chndren. Their reasons for tliis 


practice are to be found in Wall, Towgood, Ad- 
dington^ Williams, Horsey, and others, who have 
expressly written on the subject with learning and 
ingenuity. They rest their arguments principally 
on the following circumstances : — That baptism 
has succeeded instead of the rite of circumcision ; 
that households^ probably (say they) including 
children, were baptized ; that Jesus- shew^ed an 
affectionate regard for children ; and finall}'', that 
it is the means of impressing the minds of parents 
with a sense of the duties which they ow^e their 
offspring, upon the right discharge of w^hich de- 
pend the welfare and happiness of the rising gen- 
eration. Persons, therefore, engage themselves 
as sponsors m the Established Ciuirch, who pro- 
mise that they will take care of the morals of the 
children ; among other sects the parents are made 
answerable, w^ho indeed are the most proper per- 
sons to undertake the arduous task, and to see it 
duly accomplished. Dr. Priestly has just publish- 
ed a Letter to an Antip<jedohaptisty in wdiich 
he endeavours to prove the Baptism of Infants, 
from the testimony of the Fathers, which the Rev. 
Job David, of Taunton, has, in a small pamphlet, 
very fully answered. These preliminary remarks 
were necessary to render a sketch of the Baptists 
the more intelligible. We shall therefore proceed 
to that denomination. 



THE Baptists are distinguished from other de- 
nominations respecting the 7node and subject of 
baptism. They contend that this ordinance 
should be administered by immersion only, which 
indeed is enjoined, though not practised, by the 
church of England. They also assert, that it 
should be administered to those alone who pro- 
fess their belief in the Christian religion, and 
avow their determination of regulating their lives 
by its precepts. Some of the learned, however, 
suppose that the controversy is not so properly 
whether infants or adults should be baptised, as 
whether the rite should be administered on the 
profession of our oxim faith, or on that of an- 
other's faith. See Letters addressed to Bishop 
Hoadleyy by the late Mr. Footy a General Baptist 
at Bristol. 

The Baptists are divided into the General^ who 
are Arminians, and into the Particular^ who are 
Calvinists, Some of both classes allow mixed 
communion^ by which is understood, that those 
w^ho have not been baptized by immersion on tl 
profession of their faith (but in their infancy, 
which they themselves deem valid) may sit down' 
at the Lord's table along with those who have 


been thus baptized. This has given rise to some 
little controversy on the subject. Mr. Killing- 
v^^orth and Mr. Abraham Booth have written 
against free communion, but John Bunyan, Dr. 
James Foster, Mr. Charles Bulkeley, Mr. John 
Wiche, for many years a respectable General 
Baptist minister, at Maidstone, an<i Mr. Robin- 
son, of Cambridge, have contended for it. It is 
to be regretted that such disputes should ever have 
arisen, since they have contributed in no small 
degree to injure the repose, and retard the pros- 
perity of the Christian Church. An excellent 
Address to the Opposers of free Communion^ 
written by the late venerable Micajah Towgood, 
will be found at the end of his Life, by Mr. 
James Manning, well worth attention. 

The General Baptists have, in some of their 
churches, three distinct orders separately ordained 
, — Messengers, Elders, and Deacons ; and their 
General Assemhly (when a minister preaches, and 
the affairs of the church are taken into con- 
sideration) is held annually in Worship-street, 
London, on the Tuesday in the Whitsun IVeek ; 
it used to be on the Wednesday, but is changed 
for the convenience of ministers who attend it 
from the country. They have thus met together 
for upwards of a century. Dr. John Gale, a 
learned General Baptist, had a famous controversy 
in the beginning of the last century, with Dr. Wall, 


who defended the practice of baptizhig infants. 
But there has been a more recent controversy on 
the subject, between Mr. Abraham Booth, and 
Dr. Williams. The appellation Anabaptist, which 
comes from two Greek words, and signifies to re- 
baptizey is sometimes applied to this denomina- 
tion of Christians. But this is an unjust accusa- 
tion brought against them by their adversaries, 
and being deemed a term of reproach, ought to 
be wholly laid aside. The late Mr. Robinson 
published a very valuable work, entitled The His- 
tory vf Baptism, 


THE administration of baptism to adults by 
immersion, has been the subject of so much ridi- 
cule and misrepresentation, that an account of it, 
taken from Mr. Robimon^s History of Baptism, 
shall be inserted for the information of the serious 
reader. ^^ The English^ and most foreign Ba^ 
tists, consider a personal profession of faith, and 
an immersion in water, essential to baptism. The 
profession of faith is generally made before the 
church at a church meeting. Some have a creed, 
and expect the candidate to assent to it, and ta 
give a circumstantial account of his conversion. 
Others onl}^ require a person to profess himself a 


Christian. The former generally coiisider bap- 
tism as an ordinance, which initia' persons into 
a particular church ; and they my^ without breach 
of Christian liberty, they have a right to expect 
an agreement in articles of faith in their own so- 
cieties. The latter only think baptism initiates 
into a profession of the Christian religiou in gener- 
al, and therefore say they have no right to re- 
quire an assent to our creed of such as do not 
.purpose to join our churches. They quote the 
baptism of the Eunuch, in the 8th of Acts, in 
proof. There are some wdiohave no public faith, 
and who both administer baptism and admit to 
church membership any who profess themselves 
Christians. They -administer baptism in their 
own baptisteries, and in public vvaters."^^ 

*^ Not many years ago, at Whittlcsford, seven 
miles from Cambridge, forty-eight persons were 
baptized in that ford of the' river from which the 
village takes its name. At ten o'clock of a very 
fine morning in May, about 1500 people of dif- 
ferent ranks assembled together. At half past ten 
in the forenoon, the late Dr. Andrew GifFord, 
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Sublibra- 
rian of the British Museum, and teacher of 8 
Baptist congregation in Eagle-Street, London, 
ascended a moveable pulpit in a large open court- 
yard, near the river, and adjoining to the house 
of the Lord of the manor. Round him stood the 


congregation ; people on horseback, in coaches, 
and in carts, formed the outside semicircle ; nfiany 
other persons sisting in the rooms of the house, 
the sashes being open, all were uncovered, and 
there was a profound silence. The doctor first 
gave out a hymn, which the congregation sung* 
Then he prayed. Prayer ended, he took out a 
Kew Testament, and read this text — 7 indeed bap- 
tize you ivith xvater unto repentance. He ob- 
served, that the force of the preposition had 
escaped the notice of the translator^-, and that the 
true reading was— I indeed baptize or dip you in 
water at or ujjon repentance ; which sense he 
confirmed by the 41st verse of the 12th of 
Matthew, and other passages. Then he spoke 
as most Baptists do on these occasions, concern- 
ing the nature^ subject^ mode and end of this 
ordinance. He closed, by contrasting the doc- 
trine of infant sprinkhng with that of believers 
baptism, which being a part of Christian obedi- 
ence, was supported by divine promise, on the 
accomplishment of which, all good men might 
depend. After sermon, he read another hymn 
and prayed, and then cam.e down. Then the 
XJandidates for baptism retired, to prepare them- 

<^ About half an hour after, tlie administrator, 
^yhothat day was a nephew of the doctor's and 
/icUnirabiy qualified for the worl', in a Icng bla^!' 


gown of fine baize, without a hat, with a small 
New Testament in his hand, came down to the 
river side, accompanied by several Baptist minis- 
ters and deacons of their churches, and the 
persons to be baptized. The men came first, two 
and two, without hats, and dressred as usual, ex- 
cept that instead of coats, each had on a long 
w^hite baize gown, tied round the waist with a 
sash. Such as had no hair, wore w^hite cotton 
or linen caps. The women followed the men, 
two and two, all dressed neat, clean, and plain, 
and their gowns white linen or dimity. It was 
said, the garments had knobs of lead at bottom 
to make them sink. Each had a long light silk 
dloak hanging loosely over her shoulder, a broad 
ribbon tied over her gown beneath the breast, 
and a hat on her head. They all ranged them- 
selves around the administrator at the w^ater side. 
A great number of spectators stood on the banks 
of the river on both sides ; some had climed ^.nd 
sat on the trees, many set on horseback and in 
carriages, and all behaved with a decent serious- 
ness, which did honour to the good sense and the 
good manners of the assembly, as well as to the 
free constitution of this country. First, the ad- 
ministrator read an hymn, which the people 
sung. Then he read that portion of scripture 
which is read in the Greek church on the same 
occasion, the history of the baptism of the Eu- 


Jiuch, beginning at the 23d verse, and ending 
^.vith the 39th. About ten nimutes he stood 
expounding the verses, and then taking one of 
the men by the hand,, he led him into the water, 
saying as be went. See here is watery what doth 
hinder ? If thou bclievest with all thine heart, 
thou mayest he baptized. When he came to a 
sufficient depth, he stopped,, and with the utmost 
composure placing himself on the left hand of 
the man, his face being towards the man's 
shoulder, he put his right hand between his 
shoulders behind_, gatfiering into it a little of the 
gown for hold ; the fingers of the left hand he 
thursted under the sash before, and the man put- 
ing his two thumbs into that hand, he locked all 
together, by closing his hand. Then he deliber- 
ately said, / baptize thee in the name of the Fa- 
ther, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; 
and while he uttered these words standing wide, 
he gently Iean€d him backward, and dipped him 
once. As soon as he had raised him,, a person in 
a boat fastened there for the purpose, took hold 
of the man^s hand, wiped his face with a nap- 
kin, and led him a few steps to another attend- 
ant, who then gave his arm,, walked with him to 
the house, and assisted him to dress^ There 
were many such in waiting, who like the primi- 
tive susceptors, assisted during the whole service* 
The rest of the men foUow^ed the first, and were 


baptized in like manner. After them the women 
were baptized. A female friend took off at the 
water side the hat and cloak. A deacon of the 
church led one to the administrator, and another 
from him ; and a woman at the water side took 
each as she came out of the river, and conducted 
her to the apartment in the house, where they 
dressed themselves. When all w^ere baptized, 
the administrator coming up out of the river, and 
standing at the side,, gave a short exhortation on 
the honour and the pleasure of obedience to di- 
vine commands, and then with the usual bene- 
diction di:?mi^sed the assembly. About half an 
hour after, the men newly baptized, havhig dress- 
ed themselves, went from their room into a. large 
hall in the house, where they were presently join- 
ed by the women, who came from their apart- 
ments to the same place. Then they sent a mes- 
senger to the administrator, who was dressing in 
his apartment, to inform him they waited for him. 
He presently came, and first prayed for a few 
Tiiinutes, and then closed the whole by a short dis- 
course on the blessings of civil and religious liber- 
ty, the sufficiency of scripture, the pleasures of a 
good conscience, the importance of a holy life, and 
the prospect of a blessed immortality. This they 
call a -public baptism." 



A more private baptism takes place after a sim-- 
ilar manner m baptisteries, which are in or near 
the places of worship ; thus every convenience is 
afforded, for the purpose. This, indeed is now the 
most common way of administering the ordinance 
among the Baptists,, either with the attendance of 
friends or in the presence of the congregation. 
Such is baptism by immers ion,. and thus conduct- 
ed, it must' be pronounced significant in its nature, 
and impressive in its tendency. It is,. however, 
to be wished, that the rite was on every occasion 
administered with equal solemnity. 

The propriety of the exclusive appellation of the 
vcrm Baptists to those who baptize adults by im- 
mersion, has been questioned.. Hence they are 
by many stiled Anti-pcedGbaptists, merely as op- 
Dosing the validity of infant baptism. An account 
of the manner va which infant baptism is admin= 
i-tered, should have been added, where it not so 
well known by its general practice, both in the 
established Cimrcb and among; Dis&enters., 

The three denominations of Protestant Dis- 
^>enters have seminaries of their own, where 
voung men designed for the Christian ministry 
are educated. Aa^onor the Presbvterians are to lev- 


reckoned the academies at Manchester, and Caer- 
marthen, in South. Wales ; besides six exhibitions 
granted by Dr. Daniel Williams,, to English Pres- 
byterian students to be educated at GlasgoWo- 
Among the independents are to be mentioned the 
academies at Wymondley House near Hitchin, 
Homerton, Wrexham,, and: Hoxton. The acade- 
my at Wymondley House was originally under 
the care of Dr. Philip- Doddridge at*Northampton 
— upon his decease it was consigned over to Dr. 
Ash worth, at Daventry ^ but wa^ afterwards re- 
moved to Northampton, where the Rev. John^ 
Horsey superintended it for many years in a man- 
ner which did credit to his talents and pietyo 
There is also an academy of Lady Huntingdon's, 
formerly at Trevecka, now at Cheshunt. The 
Baptists have tw^o exhibitions for students to be 
educated at one of the universities i» Scotland, 
given them by Dr. Ward, of Gresham College, 
the author of The System of OratGryJ^' There 

* As the author of tliis: little work stands indebted 'to. the Ex- 
iiibition of Dr. Join War J, he wishes to pay a grateful tribute- 
of respect to- his niemory. He was the son of a Dissenting- 
minister, and born about 1679, in London. He kept an acad- 
emy for many years in Tenter-Alley, Moorfields. In 1720, he' 
was chosen professor for Rh.etoric in Gresliam Colleore, v/here his^ 
Sy stein of Oratory was delivered. In 1723, during the Presi- 
dency of Sir Isaac Newton, he was elected Fellow oi" the. RoyaP 


■ ■^' ■ ■ '■ - -^ 
is likewise an academy at Bristol, generally known 
by the name of The Bristol Education Society^ 
over which the late Dr. Caleb Evans and his ven- 
erable father, the Rev. Hugh Evans, A. \L presi- 
ded for many years with respectability. A simi- 
lar institution, though upon a smaller scale, has 
been formed among the General BaptistSy which 
•t is to be hoped will meet with due encourage- 
ment. They could formerly boast of a Galey a 
Foster, a Burroughs, a Foot, a Noble, and a 
Bulkeley. A learned education lay« the founda- 
tion for a respectable Christian ministry. In Dr. 
Kippis's Life of Dr. Doddridge, prefixed to the 
i^eventh edition of his Family Expositor, will be 
found an account of the general mode of educa- 
tion for ministers among the Dissenters. 

Mr. Palmer, in his Nonconfonnist-s Memorial 
speaking of Dr. Daniel Williams, says — " He 
gave the bulk of his estate to charitable uses,^ a^ 
excellent in their nature as they were various in 
their kinds, and as much calculated for the glory 

Society: and m 1-.752, cliCTsen or?e of its Vice-President?, in^ 
which oifice he continued till his death, which happened at Gre- 
sham College, October 17, 1758, in tlie eightieth year of his 
a^e. He publislie^l many learned works ; and is allowed by aTl 
who knew him, to have been a character in wliich were united a 
dilKisive benevolence and a rational piety. 


of God, and the good of mankind, as any that 
have ever been known. He left his library for 
public use, and ordered a convenient place to be 
purchased or erected, in which the books might 
be properly disposed of, and left an annuity for a 
librarian. A commodious house was accordingly 
erected in Redcross-streety Cripplegate, where 
his collection of books is not only properly preser- 
ved, but has b^en gradually receiving large addi- 
tions. This is also the place in which the body 
of the dissenting ministers meet to transact their 
business, and is a kind of repository for paintings 
of Nonconformist ministers, for MSS. and other 
matters of curiosity and utility." The building it- 
self belongs to the Presbyterians^ but it is by the 
trustees handsomely devoted to the use of the dis- 
senters in general. The librar}', since its original 
endowment, has been augmented by the donations 
of liberal minded persons, and its increase depends. 
upon their zeal ; no part of the founder's estate 
being appropriated for the purpose. Were every 
dissenting author to send thither a copy of his pub- 
lications (a measure that has been recommended 
and ought to be adopted) the collection would soon 
receive a considerable augmentation, and of course 
.increase not only in extent but also in respectabil- 
ity. A second edition of the catalogue,, in one 
volume, octavo, has been lately published, witli 


with the rules respecting the use of it, prefixed. 
Near to this spot also stands Sion College^ 
founded by Dr. Thomas Wliite, and of which a 
particular account is given in Northouck'sii/^tort/ 
of London. Here the London clergy meet to 
transact their affairs, and it is enriched with an 
extensive library, and ample endowments. The 
building having been lately repaired, has the ap- 
pearance of great respectability. 

TO the foregoing systematical distributions of 
the several denominations, shall be added a FEW 
SECTS, which cannot be classed with propriety 
under any of the three general divisions which 
have been adonted. 


THE Quakers appeared in England, about the. 
year 1650. Their origin will be best given in 
their own words : — ^* The beginning of the seven- 
teenth century is known to have been a time of 
great dissention in England respecting religion. 
Many pious persons had been dissatisfied with the ' 
settlement of the Church' of England in tlie reign 

aUAKERS. 101 

of Queen Elizabeth. Various societies of Dissent- 
ers had accordingly arisen ; some of whom evinc- 
ed their sincerity by grievous sufferings under 
the intolerance of those who governed church af- 
fairs.* But these societies, notwithstanding their 
honest zeal, seemed to have stopped short in their 
progress towards a complete reformation ;f and, 
degenerating into formality, to have left their most 
enlightened members still to lament the want of 
something more instructive and consolatory to the 
€0ul, than the most rigorous observance of tl>eir 
ordinances had ever produced. Thus dissatisfied 
and disconsolate, they were ready to follow any 
teacher who seemed able to direct them to that 
light and peace of which they felt the need. 
Many such in succession engaged their attention ; 
imtil finding the insufficiency of them all, they 
witlidrew from the communion of every visible 
church, and dwelt retired, and attentive to the in. 
ward state of their own minds : often deeply di;<-' 
tressed for the want of that true knowledge of 
God, which they saw to be necessary for salva- 
tioii, aTid for which, according to their ability, 
they fervently prayed. These sincere breathings 
of spirit being answered by the extension of some 
degree of heavcnlV^ consolation, they became con- 

* SeweJL n. 5, 6. Ed. 1722. t Penn, vol. ?. p. 211, 21« 

f'-d 1782. 

192 aUAKERS. 

vinced, that as the heart of man is the scene of 
the tempter's attacks, it nurst be also that of the 
Redeemer's victory. With renewed fervency, 
therefore, they sought his appearance in their 
minds ; and thus being renewedly furnished with 
.his saving light and help, they not only became 
instructed in the things pertaining to their own 
salvation, but they discovered many practices in 
^.he. world, which have a shew of rehgion, to be 
nevertheless the eifect of the unsubjected will of 
man, and inconsistent with the genuine simplicity 
of the tTutlu 

George Fox* was one of the first of our friends 
who were imprisoned. He was confined at Not- 
tingham in the year 1649, for having publicly 
opposed a preacher, who had asserted that the 
more sure word of prophecy, mentioned 2 Pet. i, 
IP, was the Scripture ; George Fox declaring 
that it was the Holy Spirit ; and in the following 
year, being brought before two justices in Derby- 
slilre, one of them, scotling at G. Fox, for having 
bidden him, and those about him, tremble at the 
word of the Lord, gave to our predecessors the 
name of Quakej^s ;f J an appellation which soon 

* Besse's Suffeiiugs of the People called Quakers, cli. 6, and 
29. et passim. 

t Be'iies. 29. t Sewdl, 35. 


became and hath remained our most usual de- 
nomination ; but they themselves adopted, an4 
have transmitted to us the endearing appellation 
of Frieiids,^^'^ 

It is difficult to give a specific statement of 
their tenets ; but they may be found in a well- 
written Apology by Robert Barclay, a learned 
Quaker, who died in Scotland, 1690. George 
Fox, the founder of this sect, was born 1624, 
He exhibited few articles of faith, and msisted 
mostly on morality, mutual charity, and the love 
of God, The religion and worship be recom- 
mended were simple and without ceremonies. To 
w^ait in profound silence for the influence of the 
Spirit, w^s one of the chief points he inculcated, 
^' The tenor of his doctrine," says John Gough, 
^^ when he found himself concerned to instruct 
others, was to lArean men from systems, eeremo* 

* See A Summary af the History^ Doctrine j^ and DitcipVme of 
Friends^ nvrltten at the Desire of tie Meeting for Sufferings m 
London. This pamphlet is just published at the end of a curi- 
ous work, entitled A Refutation of some of the most ALidcrn Mis- 
representations of the Society of Friends, commonly called Q^uaken^ 
^with a Life of James Nayhr. By Joseph Gurney Be'van. Dr. 
Toulmin, in his nenu edition oi Near s History of the Puritans, tes 

taken great pains to give the public just ideas of the Quakers ; 
It does honour to his impartiality. See also Dr. A. Ree's valu- 
■able and improved edition of Chambers' Encyclopedia^ on tlie 


I ^ 

194 aUAKERS. 

mes, and the outside of religion, in every form, 
and to lead them to an acquaintance with them- 
selves, hy a solicitous attention to what passed in 
their own minds ; to direct them to a principle of 
their own hearts, which, if duly attended to, would 
introduce rectitude of mind, simplicity of manners, 
a life and conversation adorned with every Chris- 
tian virtue,* 

The Quakers have places of worship, w^here 
they regularly assemble on the first day of the 
week, though sometimes without vocal prayer, or 
any religious exhortation. They reject the cele- 
bration of water baptism and the Lord's Supper 
as outward ordinances, have no distinct order of 
ministers, though their speakers are under certain 
regulations — and being firm opposers of the Cal- 
vinistic doctrines of Election and Reprobation are 
advocates of the Arminian system of doctrine. 

* ' Drawing Iiis doctrine from the pure source of religious 

* truth the New Testament, and the conviction of his own mind 

* absracted from the comments of mien — He asserted the free- 

* dom of man in the liberty of the gospel, against the tyranny of 

* custom, and against the combined pov\'ers of severe persecution, 

* tlie greatest contempt and 1teenes4: ridicule. Unshaken and 

* undisma)'ed he persevered in disseminating principles and prae- 
/ tises conducive to tlie present and everlasting well-being of 

* mankind with great honesty, simplicity, and success.' faj 

(a) Gougii's History of the Qiiakers, Vol. I. p. 55. 


SO far at least as respects the universal love of God 
to man, in order to his salvation. 

Their internal government is much admired ; 
their own poor are supported without parochial 
aid, and their industry and sobriety are deserving 
of imitation. They also reprobate the destructive 
practice of war, the infamous trafic of slaves, and 
profess their abhorrence of religious persecution. 
Refusing to pay tithes, as an antic hr is tian impo* 
sition, they suffer the loss of their goods and of 
their liberty, rather than comply with the demand, 
and their losses are emphatically termed by them 
sufferings. Many have endured long imprison- 
ment on that account. As the Quakers object to 
all oaths, as having been prohibited by Christ, 
when he said, swear not at all : thus their affir- 
mation is permitted in all civil, but not in criminal 
cases. In the tyrannical reign of the Stuarts, the 
Friends suffered in common with the Puritans, 
the severest persecution. Even the famous Will- 
iam Penn was tried at the Old Bailey ; and his 
defence on the trial, an account of which is to be 
found in his works, is honourable to his legal 
knowledge, fortitude, and integrity. 

With regard to the resurrection of the body, 
they have deemed it more safe not to determine 
how or when we shall be raised, yet they have 


a firm belief in a resurreetion of the dead, and in 
n future state of retribution. 

Sexvelly m his History of the Society, expresses 
himself decidedly in behalf of a resurrection, but 
without determining the mode in which infinite 
wisdom may preserve a consciousness of identity 
m another stage of our existence ; and Barclay, 
in his confession and catechism, used only the 
words of scripture on the subject, without express- 
ing the manner in which he understood them* 
The same remark applies to Barclay's account of 
the divinity of Christ ; but it seems, that William 
Penn was more explicit on the subject ; and no 
writer of aeknow^led'ged reputation among them, 
has admitted any distinction of persons in the 
Deity, In Penn's Sandy Foundation Shaken, he 
speaks with freedom against many doctrines 
which are held in general estimation* The title 
of the book speaks for itself, and shall be trans- 
cribed — " The Sandy Foundation Shaken, or those 
so generally believed and applauded docrines, of 
one God subsisting in three distinct and separate 
persons ; the impossibility of God's pardoning sin 
without a plenary satisfaction ; the qualification 
of impure persons by an imputative righteousness,, 
refuted from the authority of scripture testimonies- 
and right reason.** See a learned defence of thi^- 

aUAKERS. 197 

work by Richard Clarridge, published in his post- 
humous works, in 1726. 

It appears that Mr. Penn having in this work 
reprobated the leading doctrines of Calvinism, a 
violent outcry was raised against him. He there- 
fore vindicated himself in a pamphlet, called In- 
nocency with an Open Face, in w^hich he says — 
*^ As for my being a Socinian, I must confess I 
have read of one Socinus, of (what they call) a 
noble family in Sene, Italy, who about the year 
1574, being a young man, voluntarily did aban- 
don the glories, pleasures^ and honours of the Great 
Duke of Tuscany's court at Florence (that noted 
place for all wordly delicacies) and became a per- 
petual exile for his conscience, whose parts, wis- 
dom, gravity, and just behaviour, made him the 
most famous with the Polonian and Transyiva- 
nian churches ; but I was never baptized into his 
name, and therefore deny that reproachful epithet, 
and if in any thing I acknowledge the verity of 
his doctrine, it is for the truth's sake of which, in 
many things, he had a clearer prospect than most 
of his contemporaries ; but not therefore a Socin- 
lan ""any more than a son of the English church, 
whilst esteemed a Quaker, because I justify many 
of her principles since the Reformation against the 
Roman church." But we will add another para^ 
■graph, where Mr. Penn's principles are epitom- 


feed. " And to shut up my apology for religious 
matters, that all may see the simplicity, scripture 
doctrine, and phrase of my faith, in the most im- 
portant matters of eternal life, I shall here subjoin 
a short confession. 

" I sincerely own and unfeignedly believe (by 
virtue of the sound knowledge and experience re- 
ceived from the gift of that holy unction and di- 
vine grace inspired from on high) in one holy, 
jiist, merciful, almighty, and eternal God, who is 
t*ie Father of all things ; that appeared to the 
holy patriarchs and prophets of old, at sundry 
times and in divers manners — and in one Lord 
Jesus Christ the everlasting Wisdom, divine Pow- 
er, true Light, only Saviour, and Preserver of all ; 
the same one holy, just, merciful, almighty, and 
eternal God, who in the fulness of time took and 
was manifest in the flesh, at which time he preach- 
ed (and his disciples after him) the everlasting gos- 
pel of repentance, and promise of remission of 
sins, and eternal life to all that heard and obeyed, 
who said, he that is with you (in the flesh) shall 
be in you (by the spirit ;) and though he left them 
(as to the flesh) yet not comfortless, for he would 
come to them again (in the spirit) for a little while 
and they should not see him (as to the flesh ;) 
again, a little while, and they should see him (in 
the spirit :) for the Lord (Jesus Christ) is that spir- 

aUAKERS. 199 

it, a manifestation whereof is given to every one^ 
to profit with all — in which Holy Spirit, I believe 
as the same almighty and eterjftal God, who, as 
in those times, he ended all shadows, and became 
the infallible guide to them that walked therein, 
by which they were adopted heirs and co-heirs of 
glory; so am I a living witness that the same holy, 
just, merciful, almighty, and eternal God, is now, 
as then (after this tedious night of idolatry, super 
stition, and human inventions^ that hath over- 
spread the world) gloriously manifested^ to discov- 
er and save from all iniquity, and to conduct unto 
the holy land of pure and endless peace ; in a 
word, to tabernacle in men* And I also firmly 
believe, that without repenting and forsaking of 
past sins, and walking in obedience to the heaven- 
ly voice, which would guide into all truth, and 
establish there, remission and eternal life, can 
never be obtained ; but unto them that fear his 
name and keep his commandments, they and 
they only, shall have a right to the tree of life, 
for whose name's sake, I have been made willing 
to relinquish and forsake all the vain fashions, en- 
ticing pleasures, alluring honours, and glittering 
glories of this transitory world, and readily to ac- 
cept the portion of a fool from this deriding gener- 
ation, and become a man of sorrow, and a per- 
petual repBoach to my familiars ; yea, and with 
the greatest cheerfulness, can obsignate and con- 

200 aUAKERS. 

firm (with no less zeal, than the loss of whatso- 
ever this doating world accounts dear) this faith- 
ful confession ; having my eye fixed upon a more 
enduring substance and lasting inheritance, and 
being most infallibly assured, that when time shall 
be no more, I shall (if faithful hereunto) possess 
the mansions of eternal life, and be received into 
his everlasting habitation of rest and glory.'^ 

This is an explicit declaration of the principles 
of Cluakerism ; — taken from the works of IVill- 
iam Penn : because of all their writers, he is in 
general the most perspicuous, and as to his char- 
acter, he possesses a high respectability. 

Indeed, there seems to be a much greater uni- 
formity in their dress than in their opinions, though 
it is probable that the generality of them adhere 
to the fundamental doctrines of the gospel. As 
a proof of the diversity of opinion amongst them, 
we may refer to the late proceedings of the soci- 
ety against Hannah Barnardy a celebrated 
speaker from Hudson, New York, in North 
America. For her opinion concerning the Jewish 
Wars, Trinity, Miraculous Conception, &c. she 
has been silenced. See 2.r\ Appeal to the Friends 
m three parts, on which, however, some animad- 
versions have been published by Vindex and 
others, but to which Vcrax has replied in a 
pamphlet entitled — A Findication qf Scriptural 

ft^AKERS* mi 

Umtarianisniy and some other Primitive Doc- 
trines, ^-c- — see ali^o some Tracts relating to the 
controversy between Hannah Barnard and the 
Society of Friends.* 

There are seven yearly meetings among them^ 
fe^^each of which ah^ rules and advices are formed 
for the general government of the society in the 
country, where they are respectively established. 
And no Member of the Society is precluded from 
attending, or partaking in the deliberations of 
these assemblies, which are nevertheless strictly 
speaking constituted of representatives, by regular 
appointment from each quarterly meeting. The 
following are the seven yearly meetings : !• Lon- 
don, to which come representatives from Ire- 
land ; 2. New England ; 3. New York ; 4' 
Pennsylvania and New Jersey ; 5. Maryland ; 
6. Virginia ; 7* The Carolinas and Georgia. 
The form and colour of their clothes, together 
with their peculiar modes of salutron, have been 
thought to savour of affectation, though they 
certainly exhibit a striking contrast to the gaudy 

* The Author has omitted a Note expressive of hia concern 
for the proceedings of the Society, against Hannnh Barnard--- 
because it subjected him to the imputation of partiality. 
But he thinks it incumbent on him to declare that he still 
continues as rauch as ever the enemy of intolerance^ under 
whatever form it may please to impose itself on the religious 

202 aUAKERS. 

frippery and artificial courtesy of modern times* 
Voltaire in his letters on the English Nation, 
has some curious remark? on the Quakers ; but 
in certain particulars they deem themselves ca. 
luniniated by that satirical writer. At Ackvvorth 
they have a respectable school, to which (a great 
and good man; Dr. Fothergill left legacies, and 
where about one hundred and eighty boys and 
one hundred and twenty girls are educated. To- 
wards the close of the sixteenth century, William 
Penn, who founded Pennsylvania, introduced and 
established a large and flourishing colony of them 
in America. His treaty with the Indians on that 
occasion, has formed an admirable subject for the 
pencil, and reflects immortal honour on his me- 

In addition to the Treatises mentioned, written 
by the Friends — the reader is referred to the Re- 
corder, by William Matthews of Bath, and to a 
Painphlet lately published by John Hancock, of 
Lilburne, Ireland. 

I have thus endeavoured to state at some length 
the doctrines and views of Q^uakerisiUy because 
its advocates have been subjected to gross mis- 
representations. Many have said they are a 
species of Deists y exalting their natural light 
above the scripture, which some of them have 
called a dead letter — others have deemed them a 
kind of Enthusiasts, violently enslaved by their 


impulses and feelings — whilst a third class have 
considered them, notwithstanding their profes. 
sions res4)ecting the spirit, as, tit^orldly-mindedy 
eagerly intent on the acquisition of property, and 
thus commanding the good things of this present 
world. Persons, who entertain any of these 
opinions concerning them, will perceive from the 
above account, that though their sentiments are 
very peculiar, as are also their manners, yet we 
have every reason to suppose them sincere in 
their professions, and upon the whole, steadily 
governed by the prospects of another world. Al- 
lowances ought to be made for human infirmit}'. 
Nor must we expect, from man more than it is 
In his power to perform. Every individual of 
every sect, has an indubitable right to form his 
own opinions on religious subjects. And let 
him freely indulge those opinions which (however 
absurd in the eyes of others) may to him appear 
consonant to truth-— whilst h^ .holds sacred the 
peace and happiness of so.ciety. 


THE Methodists in this country form a large 
part of the community. In the year 172D, they 
sprang up at Oxford, under Mr. Morgan (who 
;Boon after died) and under Mr. John Wesley. In 


the month of November, of that year, the latter 
feeing then fellow of Lmcoln College, began to 
spend some evenings in reading the Greek New 
Testament along with Charles Wesley, student, 
Mr. Morgan, commoner of Christ Church, and 
Mr. Kirkman, of Morton College. Next year^ 
two or three of the pupils of Mr. John Wesley, 
and one pupil of Mr, Charles Wesley, obtained 
leave to aitend these meetings. Two years after, 
they were joined by Mr. Ingham of ftueen's Col- 
lege, Mr. Broughton, of Exeter, and Mr. James 
Hervey ; and in 1735, they were joined by the 
4jelebrated Mr. Whitfield, then in his eighteenth 
year. They soon obtained the name oiMethodistSj 
from the <^xact regularity of their lives ; whieh 
gave occasion to a young gentleman of Christ 
Church, tosay-^^ Here is a nevjsect of Methodists 
sprung up !" alluding to a sect of ancient Physi- 
cians,, who practised medicine by method or regular 
rules, in opposition to quackery or empiricism. 
Thus was the term Methodist originally applied 
to this body of Christians, on account of the 
methodical strictness of their lives ; but is indeed 
'now, by some, indiscriminately appropriated to 
every individual who manifests a more than ordi- 
nary concern for the salvation of mankind. 

These heads differing soon afterwards in reli- 
gious sentiment, their respective followers distri- 
buted themselves into twx) jparties ; the one under 


Mr. George Whitfield, the other under Mr. John 
and Charles Wesley, Educated at Oxford, these 
leaders still continued to profess an attachment to 
the articles and liturgy of the Established church, 
though they nK)re commonly adopted the mode 
of worship which preveils among the Dissenters, 
Upon their being excluded from the pulpits in 
many churches, they took to preaching in the 
fields ; and from the novelty of the thing, in con- 
junction with the fervour of their exertions, they 
were attended by some thousands of people ! In 
their public labours, Mr. Whitfield having a most 
sonorous voice, was remarkable for an engaging 
and powerful eloquence ; whilst Mr. John Wes- 
ley, being less under the influence of his passions, 
possessed both in writing and preaching, a per- 
spicuous and commanding simplicity. Even their 
enemies, confess that they contributed in several 
places to reform the lower classes of the commu- 
nit}'. The Colliers at Kingswood, near Bristol, 
and the Tinners in Cornwall, were greatly bene- 
fitted by their exertions. In consequence of their 
attention to the religion of Jesus, by the instni- 
mentality of these preachers, many of them roa^ 
to a degree of respectability, and became valuable 
members of society. The followers of Mr, 
Wesley are Arrainians, though some of liis 
preachers incline to Baxterianism. The fol- 
lowci's of Mr. Whitfield are CalvinistSy and were 


patronized by the late Countess Dowager of 
Huntingdon, to whom Mr. W. was chaplain, 
and who was a lady of great benevolence and 
piet}'. Lady Erskine (a near relation of the cele- 
brated counsellor of that name) has taken her 
situation, and is said to be equally attentive to 
the concerns of this part of the religious commi>- 
nity. With respect to the splitting of the Me- 
thodists into Calvinists and Arminians, it happen- 
i'd so far back as the year 1741; the former being 
for particular, and the latter for universal re- 
demption. Of the number of the Methodists, 
various statements have been given — but no ac- 
count has ever yv.t reached me vv^hich bore thr 
marks of accurac}^ 

Both Mr. Wesley and Mr. Whitfield were in- 
defatigable in promoting their own views of th^: 
Christian religion, notwithstanding all the re- 
proaches with which they w^ere stigmatized. It 
is well known that for this purpose Mr. Whitfield 
went over several times to Amci ica. Mr. Whit- 
field, indeed, established an Orphan House in 
Georgia^ for which he made collections in this 
country, and which was since converted into a 
college for the education of young men, designee* 
chiefly for the ministry. To this paragraph, thv 
American editor of the Sketch luis added — " It 
has been lately burnt, and the whole of the bene- 
ncc added to it, is in possesslo:? of the State. A 


just judgment for purchasing slaves to support a 
charitable institution !" 

In America, the Methodists were extremely 
useful, riding 20 or 30 miles in the course of the 
day, and preaching twice or thrice to considerable 
congregations. Take the following account of 
their labours by Mr. Hampson, in his Memoirs 
of Mr. Wesley. ^^ Their excursions (says he) 
through immense forests, abounding in trees of 
all sorts and sizes, were often highly romantic 
Innumerable rivers and fails of water ; vistas 
opening to the view, in contrast with the un- 
cultivated wilds ; deer now shooting across the 
road, and now scouring through the woods, while 
the eye was frequently relieved by the appearance 
of orchards and plantations, and the houses of 
gentlemen and farmers peeping through the trees, 
formed a scenery so various and picturesque, as 
to produce a variety of reflections y and present, 
we will not say to a philosophic eye, but to the 
mind of every reasonable creature ^ the most 
sublime and agreeable im^ages. Their worship 
partook of the general simplicity. It was fre- 
quently conducted in the open air. The woods 
resound to the voice of the preacher, or to the 
singing of the numerous congregation, whilst the 
horses fastened to the trees, formed a singular 
addition to the solemnity. It was, indeed, a 


Striking picture, and might naturally impress the 
mind with a retrospect of the antediluvian days, 
when the hills and vallies re-echoed the patriarchal 
devotions, and a Seth, or an Enoch, in the 
shadow of a projecting rock, or beneath the foliage 
of some venerable oak, delivered his primeval 
Lectures, and was a preacher of righteousness to 
the people /" 

The distingushing principles of Methodism 
are salvation by faith in Jesus Christ ; per- 
ceptibicy and in some cases instantaneous con- 
version ; and an assurance of reconciliation to 
God, with W'hich, they say, the nexi^ birth^ or 
being born againy is inseparably attended. On 
these doctrines they lay the utmost stress ; and 
information respecting these topics will be found 
in Dr. Haw^eis's History of the Church of Christ , 
recently published.* Several persons have writ- 
ten the Life of Mr. Wesley ; there is one by Mr. 
Hampson, another by Dr. Whitehead, and a 
third by Dr. Coke and Mr. Moore. Mr. Whit- 
field's Life was drawn up by the late Dr. Gillies, 
ofGlasgow\ Mr. Wesley and Mr. Whitfield 
both published an account of their itinerant la- 
bours in this kingdom and in America. These 

* This work, it is to be regretted, is deficient in references to 
4«U-i0ritics^ the f#W an4 tuhttana of history. 


Sketches are entitled Journals, and though con- 
taining many strange things, serve to illustrate 
the principles and progress of Methodism. To 
conclude this article of the Methodists^ in the 
words of Mr. Hampson, in his Memoirs of Mr. 
Wesley — <* If they possess not much knowledge, 
which however we do not know to be the case, 
it is at least certain they are not deficient in zeal, 
and without any passionate desire to imitate their 
example, we may at least commend their endeav- 
ours for the general good. Every good man 
will contemplate wnth pleasure, the operation of 
the spirit of reformation, whether foreign or do- 
mestic, and will rejoice in every attempt to pro- 
pagate Christianity in the barbarous parts of the 
world ; an attempt, which if in any tolerable de- 
gree successful, will do infinitely more for their 
civilization and happiness, than all the united en- 
ergies of the philosophical infidels ; those bo^asted 
benefactors of mankind." 

Dr. Priestly published a curious volume of 
Mr. Wesley's Letters, just after his decease, pre- 
faced with an Address to the Methodists ; where, 
after having freely expostulated with them re- 
specting their peculiarities, he gives them credit 
for their zeal and unwearied activity. The 
Methodists have recently found an eloquent ad- 
vocate in William Wilberforce, Esq. M. P. who 


lileads their cause at sorrje length, hi h\6 Treatise 
on f^ital Christianity* 

Before this article relative to the Methodists is 
closed, it may be proper just to add that a com- 
munication has been made me, respecting the 
Revival Meetings among the Wesleyan Metho- 
dists, where certain persons, under the influence 
of a religious frenzy, occasioned by their groan- 
ings and vociferations, an uncommon degree of 
tumult and confusion. The more sensible, how- 
ever, of the Methodists reprobate these disgrace- 
ful scenes. At Nottingham I witnessed them 
with astonishment. It is fervently to be wished 
that such fanaticism may not continue long, and 
that some persons of respectability among them 
will interfere, so as to put an end to practices, 
which cannot fail to strengthen the hands of in- 
fidelity, and afford matter of grief to all the 
friends of real and substantial piety. 
, . — __/ 

* This work has been ably animadverted upon by the Rev. 
T. Belsham, in a Seria of Letters to the author, in which most 
or its positions are controverted. And with respect to the ar- 
ticle of Hereditary Depra^vity^ ior wliich Mr. W. zealously con- 
tends, see an ingenious Apology fu Human Nature^ by xlit venern- 
bb ar.d learned Charles Bullvely. 



* THE New Methodist Connection, 
among the followers of Mr. Wesley, separated 
from the original Methodists in 1797. The 
grounds of this separation they declare to be 
church government y and not doctrines, as affirm- 
ed by 8ome of their opponents. They object to 
the old MethodistSp for having formed a hierachy 
or priestly corporation ; and say that in so doing 
they have robbed the people of those privileges, 
which as members of a Christian church they are 
entitled to by reason and scripture. The neiv 
Methodists have therefore attempted to establish 
every part of their church government on popu- 
lar principles, and profess to have united as much 
as possible the ministers and the people in every 
department of it. This is quite contrary to the 
original government of the Methodists, which in 
the most important cases is confined only to the 
ministers. This, indeed, appears most plainly, 
when their conference or yearly meeting is con- 
sidered ; for in this meeting, no person, who is 
not a travelling preacher^ has ever been sufiered 
to enter as a member of it, and, indeed, this is the 

* Tliis article was sent to tlie editor by a correspondent at 
Nottingham, and is inserted with a few alterations and 


point to which the preachers have always sted- 
fastly adhered with the utmost firmness and reso- 
lution, and on which the division at present entire- 
ly rests. They are also upbraided by the New 
Methodists, for having abused the power they have 
assumed ; a great many of these abuses, the New 
Methodists have formerly protested against, which 
are enumerated in various publications, and par- 
ticularly in the Preface to the Life of one of 
their deceased friends, Mr. Alexander Kilham. 
Hence these New Methodists have sometimes 
been denominated Kilhamites. 

Though these are the points on which the di- 
vision seems principally to have rested, yet there 
are several other things that have contributed to 
it. It is frequently easy to foresee and to calcu- 
late the future changes in society, that the lapse 
of time will produce ; and in no instance is this 
observation better warranted than in this division, 
which most persons have long expected. The 
old attachment of the Methodists to the Estab- 
lished Church, which originated in Mr. Wesley, 
and was cherished bj- him and many of the 
preachers by all possible means, and also the dis- 
like to these sentiments in man}' others of the 
preachers, and of the societies, were never failing 
subjects of contention. As all parties are dis- 
tinguished in their contests by some badge or 
discriminating circumstance, so here the recciv 


ing or not receiving the lord's Supper^ in the 
Established Churchy was long considered as the 
criterion of methodistical zeal or disaffection. 
Thus the rupture that had been long foreseen by 
intelligent persons, and for which the minds of 
the Methodists has been undesignedly prepared, 
became inevitable when Mr. Wesley's influence 
no longer interfered. Soon after Mr. Wesley^s 
death, many things had a tendency to displease 
the societies, and bring forward the division. 
Many petitions having been sent by the societies 
to the preachers, requesting to have the Lord's 
Supper administered to them in their own chap- 
els, the people had the mortification to find that 
this question was decided by Zof, and not by the 
use of reason and serious discussion ! 

The Nezi' Methodists profess to proceed upon 
liberal, open, and ingenuous principles, in the 
construction of their plan of church government^ 
and their ultimate decision in all disputed matters, 
is in their popular annual assembly, chosen by 
certain rules from among the preachers and 
societies. These professions are at least general 
and liberal ; but as this, sect has yet continued 
for only a short season, little can be said of it 
at present. It becomes a matter of curious conjec- 
ture and speculation, how far the leading persons 
among them, will act agreeably to their present 
liberal professions. U they should becoTne 


firmly ^nablished fn' poUer and mtluence, and 
have •; Jbpportiinity of acting otherwise ; they 
have at least the advantages of the example of 
their late brethren^ and of Dr. Priestley's remarks 
Upon them. Speaking of the leading men 
among the Methodists, the Doctor says — ^^ Find- 
ing themselves by degrees at the head of a large 
body of people, and in considerable power and 
influence, they must not have been inen^ if they 
had not felt the love of power gratified in such 
a situation ; and they must have been more than 
men, if their subsequent conduct had not been 
influenced hy it." A shrewd hint, that Dr. P. 
thought the Methodists had been too remiss in 
their attention to their liberties, xvhick they ought 
to convey doxvn entire and unmutilated to pes- 


ORIGINALLY this singular practice of jump- 
ing during the time allotted for religious worship 
and instruction, was confined to the people called 
Methodists in Wales, the followers of Harris, 
Rowland, Williams, and others. The practice 
began in the western part of the country about 
the year 1760. It was soon after defended' 


by Mr. William Williams (the Welch poet, as he 

is sometimes styled) in a pamphlet, which was 

patronized by the abbettors of jumping in religious 

assemblies^ but viewed by the . smttSrcr and the^,c^/^4^ 

grave with disapprobation. However, in the 

course of a few years, the advocates of groaning 

and loud talking, as well as of loud singing, re-- 

peating the same line or stanza over and over thirty 

or forty times, became more numerous, and were 

found among some of the other denominations in 

the principality, and continue to this day, Se* 

veral of the more zealous itinerant preachers in 

Wales recommended the people to cry out Go- 

goniant (the \^\^lch word for glory) Amen, &c. 

&c. to put themselves in violent agitations ; and 

finally, \ojump until they were quite exhausted, 

so as often to be obliged to fall dow^n on the floor, 

or on the field where this kind of w^orship w^as 

held. If any thing in the profession of religion, 

that is absurd and unreasonable, w^ere to surprize 

us, it would be the censure that was cast upon 

those who gently attempted to stem this tide, 

which threatened the destruction of true religion 

as a reasonable services. Vv^here the essence of 

true religion Is placed in customs and Uvsages which 

have no tendency to sariCtify the several powers 

through the medium of the understanding, we 

ought not to be surprized, v/hen we contemplate 

instances of extravagance and Human 


nature, in general, is not capable of such exer- 
tions for any length of time, and when the spirits 
become exhausted, and the heart kindled by sym- 
path}^ is subsided, the unhappy persons sink into 
themselves, and seek for support in intoxication. 
It is not to be doubted but there are man}^ sincere 
and pious persons to be found among this class of 
people — men who think they are doing God's 
j?ervice, whilst they are the victims of fanaticism. 
These are objects of compassion, and doubtless 
will find it l]i God. But it is certain, from in- 
contestible facts, that a number of persons have 
attached themselves to those religious societies, 
who place a very disproportioned stress on the 
practice of jumpingy from suspicious motives. 
The theory and practice of such a religion are 
easily understood ; for the man who possesses an 
unbkishing confidence, and the greatest degree of 
muscular energy, is likely to excel in bodily 
exercise. Upon the whole, it is probable, as such 
an exercise has no countenance in reason or re- 
velation, that it has been, and is still productive 
of more evil than good. Many of the ministerv^, 
who ha^ e been foremost in cnconvixglng jumping, 
SGcnv^d to have nothing in view but the gratifica- 
tion of their vanity, ijiflaming the passions of the 
multitude by extravagant representations of the 
character of the Deity — the condition of man — 
and desiirnof the Saviour's mission. The minis- 


ter that wishes not to study to shew himself of 
God, has only to favour jumjmig, with its ap- 
pendages ; for as reason is out of the question, in 
such a religion, he can be under no fear of shock- 
ing it. It is some consolation to real religion, to 
add, that this practice is on the decline, as the 
more sober or conscientious, who wrere at first at 
a loss to judge where this practice might carry 
them, have seen its pernicious tendency. 

Such is the account of the JUMPERS, whicli- 
with a few alterations, has been transmitted me\ 
by a respectable minister, w^ho frequently visits 
the principality. It is to be hoped, that the exer- 
cise of common sense will in time recover them 
from these extravagant extasies, which pain the 
rational friends of revelation, and yield matter of 
exultation to the advocates of infidelity. 

About the year 1785, I myself happened "very 
accidentally to be present at a meeting, w^hich 
terminated in jumping. It was held in the open 
air, on a Sunday evening, near Newport, in 
Monmouthshire. The preacher was one of Lady 
Huntingdon's students, w^ho concluded his ser- 
mon with the recommendation of jumping ; and 
to allow him the praise of consistency, he got down 
from the chair on which he stood, and jumped 
along with them. The arguments he adduced 
for this purpose were, that David danced before 
the ark — that the babe leaped in the womb of 


Elizabeth — and that the man whose lameness was 
removed, leaped and praised God for the 
mercy which he had received. He expatiated 
on these topics with uncommon fervency, and 
then drew the inference, that they ought to shew 
similar expressions of joy, for the blessings 
which Jesus Christ had put into their possession. 
He then gave an empassioned sketch of the suf- 
ferings of the Saviour, and hereby roused the pas- 
sions of a few around him into a state of violent 
agitation. About nine men and seven women, for 
some little time, rocked to and fro, groaned 
aloud, and then ju7nped with a kind of frantic 
fury. S.ome of the audience flew in all directions ; 
others gazed on in silent amazement ! They all 
gradually dispersed, except the jumpers^ who 
.continued their exertions from eight in the e veiling 
to near eleven at night. I saw the conclusioa 
of it ; they at last kneeled down in a circle, hold- 
ing each other by the hand, while one of them 
prayed with great fervor, and then all rising up 
from off their knees, departed. But previous to 
their dispersion, they wildly pohited up towards 
the sky, and reminded one another that they should 
soon meet there and be never again separated ! 
I quitted the spot with astonishment. Such dis- 
orderly scenes cannot be of any service to the 
deluded individuals, nor can they prove beneficial 
to society. Whatever credit we may and ought to 


allow this class of Christians for good intentions, 
it is impossible not to speak of the practice itself, 
without adopting termi? of unqualified disappro- 
bation. The reader is referred to Bingley-s and 
Evans^ Tour through Wales, where (as many 
particulars are detailed respecting the Jumpersy 
his curiosity will receive a still farther gratifica- 
tion. It pains the author of the present work, 
that he had it not in his power to give a more 
favourable account of them. The decline of so 
unbecoming a practice will, it is to be hoped, be 
soon followed by its utter extinction. 


THE UNIVERSALISTS, properly so called, are 
those who believe, that as Christ died for all, so 
before he shall have delivered up his mediatorial 
Mngdom to the Father, all shall be brought to a 
partic4patioii of the benefits of his death, in their 
restoration to holiness and happiness. Their 
scheme includes a reconciliation of the tenets of 
Calvinism and Arminianism, by uniting the lead- 
ing doctrines of both, as far as they are found in 
the scriptures : from which union they think the 
sentiment of universal restoration naturally flows. 

Thus they reason — ^* The Arminian proves 
from scripture, that God is love ; that he is good 


to all ; that his tender mercy is over all hi^ 
works ; that he gave his son for the world ; that 
Christ died for the world, even for the whole 
world ; and that God will have all' men to be 

'^ The Calvini^t proves also from scripture, 
that God is without variableness or shadow of 
turning ; that his love, like himself, alters not ; 
that the death of Christ will be efficacious towards 
all for whom it was intended ; that God will per- 
form all his pleasure, and that his council shall 
stand. The union of these scriptural principles, is 
the final restoration of all men. 

" Taking the principles of the Calvinists and 
Arminians separately, we find the former teach- 
ing, or at least inferring, that God doth not love 
all ; but that he made the greater part of men to 
be endless monuments of his wrath. — The latter 
declaring the love of God to all ; but admitting 
his Jinal failure of restoring the greater part. 
The God of the former is great in power and 
wisdom, but deficient in goodness, and capri- 
cious in his conduct : who that views the char- 
acter can sincerely love it ? The God of the latter, 
is exceeding good ; but deficient in power and 
wisdom : who can trust such a being ? If, there- 
fore, both Calvinists and Arminians love and 
trust the Deity, it is not under the character 
which their Several systemis ascribe to him ; but 


W .. ■ > ■ I . ■ III ^_^ 

they are constrained to hide the imperfection^ 
which their views cast upon him, and boast of a 
God, whose highest glori/y their several schemes 
will not admit." 

The Universalists teach the doctrine of elec- 
tion ; but not in the exclusive Calvinistic sense of 
it ; they suppose that God has chosen some, for 
the good of all ; and that his final purpose towards 
all, is intimated by his calling his elect the first 
born and the first fruits of his creatures, which, 
say they, implies other branches of his family, and 
a future in-gathering of the harvest of mankind. 

They teach also that the righteous shall have 
part in the first resurrection, shall be blessed and 
happy, and be made priests and kings to God and 
to Christ,in the millennial kingdom, and that over 
them the second death shall have no power ; that 
the wicked will receive a punishment apportioned 
to their crimes, that punishment itself is a media- 
torial work, and founded upon mercy, consequent 
ly, that it is a means of humbling, subduing, and 
finally reconciling the sinner to God. 

They add, that the words rendered everlastings 
eternal^ for every and for ever and every in the 
scriptures, are frequently used to express the du- 
ration of things that have ended, or must end ; 
and if it is contended, that these words are some- 
times used to express proper eternityy they an- 


swer, that then, the subject with which the words 
are connected, must determine the sense of them ; 
^and as there is nothing in the nature of future pun- 
shment which can be rendered as a reason why 
it should be endless, they infer that the above 
words ought always to be taken in a limited sense, 
when connected with the infliction of misery. 

The Universalists have to contend on the one 
hand with such as hold the eternity of future 
misery, and on the other w^ith those who teach 
that destruction or extinction of being, will be 
the final state of the wicked. In answer to the 
latter, they say, " That before we admit that God 
is under the necessity of striking any of his ration- 
al creatures out of being, we ought to pause and 
enquire — 

^* Whether such an act is consistent with the 
scriptural character of the Deity, as possessed of 
all possible wisdom, goodness and power ? 

^^ Whether it would not contradict many parts 
of scripture ; such, for instance, as speak of the 
restitution of all things — the gathering together 
of all things in Christ — the reconciliation of all 
things to the father, by the blood of the cross — 
the destruction of death, &c.^ These texts, they 
think, are opposed equally to endless misery, and 
to final destruction. 


^^ Whether those who will be finally destroy- 
ed, are not in a worse state through the media- 
tion of Christ, than they w^ould have been with- 
out it ? This question is founded on a position of 
the friends of destruction ; viz. that extinction of 
being, without a resurrection, would have been 
the only punishment of sin, if Christ had not be- 
come the resurrection and the life to men. Conse- 
quently, the resurrection and future punishment 
spring from the system of mediation ; but, they 
ask, is the justification to life, which came upon 
all men in Christ Jesus, nothing more than a res- 
urrection to endless death to millions ? 

^* Whether the word, destruction, will war- 
rant such a conclusion ? It is evident that destruc- 
tion is often used in scripture to signify ,a cessation 
of present existence only, without any contradic- 
tion of the promises that relate to a future univer- 
sal resurrection. The}^ think, therefore, that they 
ought to admit an universal restoration of men, 
notwithstanding the future destruction which is 
threatened to sinners :* because, say they, the 
scripture teach both." 

They also think the doctrine of destruction, 
in the above acceptation of it, includes two con- 

* See Vidler's Notes on Winchester 'b Dialogues on the Re- 
otoration, fourth edition, p. 176. 


siderable difficulties. The scripture uniformly 
teach degrees of punishment, according to trans- 
gression ; but does extinction of being admit of 
this ? Can the greatest of sinners be more effect- 
ually destroyed than the least ? — -Again, we are 
taught that, however dark any part of the divine 
conduct may appear in the present state, yet jus- 
tice will be clear and decisive in its operations 
hereafter ; but the doctrine of destruction (in their 
judgment) does not admit of this, for what is the 
surprising difference betwixt the moral character 
of the xvorst good man, and the best bad man, 
that the portion of the one should be endless life, 
and that of the other endless death ? 

They suppose the universal doctrine to be most 
consonant to the perfections of the Deity — most 
worthy of the character of Christ, as the media* 
tor ; and that the scriptures cannot be made con- 
sistent with themselves, upon any other plan. 
They teach that ardent love to God, peace, meek- 
ness, candour, and universal love to men, are the 
natural result of their views." 

This doctrine is not new. Origen, a Christian 
father, who lived in the third century, wrote in 
favour of it. St. Augustine, of Hippo, mentions 
some divines in his day, whom he calls the mer- 
ciful doctors, who held it. The German Bap- 
tists, m.any of them, even before the reformation, 
propagated it. The people called Tunkers, hi 


■ *■■ ' ■ '^ ' ■ ■ ■ ■ ■'■■'%■ 

America, descended from the German Baptists^ 
mostly hold it. The Menonites, in Holland^ 
have long held it. In England, about the latter 
end of the seventeenth century. Dr. Rust, Bishop 
of Dromore, in Ireland, published A Letter of 
Resolutions concernmg Origeriy and tlie chief 
of his opinions y in which it has been thought he 
favoured the Universal Doctrine, which Origen 
held. And Mr. Jeremiah White wrote his book 
in favour of the same sentiments soon afterwards. 
The Chevalier Ramsay, in his elaborate work of 
the Philosophical principles of Natural and Re- 
vealed Religion espouses it. Archbishop Tillot- 
son, in one of his sermons, supposes fature pun- 
ishment to be of limited duration, as does Dr. 
Burnet, master of the Charter-House, in his book 
on the state of the dead. 

But the writers of late years, who have treated 
upon the subject most fully, are Dr. Newton, 
Bishop of Bristol, in his Dissertations ; Mr. 
Stonehouse, Rector of Islington ; Dr. Chaunc}^, 
of Boston, in America ; Dr. Hartley, in his pro- 
found work of man ; Mr. Purves, of Edinburgh ; 
Mr. Eihanan Winchester, in his Dialogues on 
Universal Restoration (a new edition of which, 
with explanatory notes, has been recently pub- 
lished) and Mr. William Vidler. See the Uni- 
versalisVs Miscellany^ now entitled the Theolo- 
yical Magazine and Impartial Review, (a 


monthly publication of merit) containing many 
valuable papers, for and against Universal Re. 
storation, where the controversy on the subject 
between Mr. Vidler and Mr. Fuller, will be 
found. But Mr, Fuller's Letters have been since 
printed separately, and Mr. Vidler'iy Letter to 
Mr. Fuller, on the Universal Restoration, with 
a statement of facts attending that controversy, 
and some strictures on Scrutator's Review, are 
also just published. The Rev. Mr. Browne^ a 
clergyman of the church of England, has pro- 
duced an ingenious essay on the subject. Mr. 
R. Wright, of Wisbeach, has also wTitten a tract 
called. The Eternity of Hell Tormets Inde- 
fensibley in reply to Dr. Ryland. The late Mr. 
N. Scarlett likewise published a new translation 
of the Testament, in w^hich the Greek term aiov 
in the singular and plural, is rendered age and 
ages ; and in his Appendix proposed that its de- 
rivative ccioviay should be rendered age-lastingy 
instead of everlasting and eternal. 

For still further information the reader is re- 
ferred to a very critical work just published, en- 
titled. An Essay on the Duration of a Future State 
of Punishments and Rewards, by John Simpson, 
who has written several excellent pieces, for the 
illustration of Christianity. 



AMONG the professors of Universal Salva- 
tion, which have appeared in the last century, is 
to be ranked a Mr, James Relly, who first 
commenced the ministerial character, in connec- 
tion with the late Mr. George Whitfield, and with 
the same sentiments as are generally maintained 
at the Tabernacle — he was considered and received 
with great popularity. Upon a change of hh 
views, he encountered reproach, and of course 
was soon pronounced an enemy to godliness, &c. 
It appears that he became convinced of the union 
of mankind to God, in the person of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ. And upon this per- 
suasion he preached a finished salvation, called 
ty the Apostle Jude, ^^ The Common Salvation.'* 
The relation and unity of the first and second 
Adam unto God, the author and fountain of all 
things, was the foundation of those sentiments 
he continued to maintain during his life ; — a^id 
he was followed by a considerable number of 
persons who were convinced of the propriety of 
liis views. Since his death, his sentiments have 
been retained by such who were attached to them 
in sincerity, and although time has necessarily 
removed a considerable part to the world of 
spirits, a branch of the survivors still meet at 
"the Chanel .in Windmill-street^ FinsUury-square, 


where there are different brethren who speak. — 
The\^ are not observers of ordinances, such as 
water baptism and- the sacrament — professing to 
believe in only one baptism — which they call an 
Immersion of the mind or conscience into truth 
by the teaching of the spirit of God — and by the 
same spirit they, are enabled to feed on Christ as 
the bread of life, professing that in, and with 
Jesus, they possess all things. They inculcate 
and maintain good works for necessary purposes, 
liut contend that the principal and only works 
which ought to be attended to, is the doing 
real good without religious ostentation ; — that to 
relieve the miseries and distresses of mankind, 
according to our ability, in doing more real good 
than the superstitious observance of religious cere- 
monies — in general they appear to believe that 
there will be a resurrection to life, and a resur- 
rection to condemnation — that believers only 
will be among the former, who as first fruits, and 
kings and priests will have part in the first resur- 
rection, and shall reign with Christ in his king- 
dom of the millennium ; that unbelievers who are 
after raised, must wait the manifestation of the 
Saviour of the world — under that condemnation 
of conscience, which a mind in darkness and 
wTath must necessarily feel : — that believers, call- 
ed kings and priests will be made the medium 
of communication to their condemned brethren — 


and, like Joseph to his brethren — though he spoke 
roughly to them, in reality overflowed with af- 
fection and tenderness ; that ultimately — every 
knee shall bow — and every tongue confess, that 
in the Lord they have righteousness and strength 
— and thus ever}^ enemy shall be subdued to the 
kingdom and glory of the great Mediator, 

A Mr. Murray, belonging to this society, emi- 
grated to America previous to or about the time 
of the war— He preached the same sentiments at 
Boston and elsewhere, and was appointed chap- 
lain to General Washington, There are a num- 
ber of adherents at Boston, Philadelphia, and 
other parts. Mr. Relly pubhshed several works 
— the principal of which were '^ Union'' — ^^ The 
Trial of Spirits"—** Christian Liberty"—^* One 
Baptism"—" The Salt of Sacrifice"—*^ Anti- 
christ Resisted" — ** Letters on Universal Salva- 
tion" — " The Cherubimical Mystery" — " Hymns," 
&c. &c. His followers now meet at the Chapel 
in Windmill street, Finsburj^-square, Sunday 
mornings and evenings. Messrs. Rait, Coward, 
Jeffreys, &c. speak from time to time, and Mr. 
Coward has published two little treatises — enti- 
tled ** Dei^m traced to its Source," and ** The 
Comparison ; or, the Gospel preached of God to 
the Patriarchs," compared with the gospel preach- 
ed in the present day. There are also some of 
those same sentiments in other parts of the king- 


dom, and particularly at and in the vicinity of 
Plj^mouth-Dock, and Plymouth in Devonshire.* 

The writers, who have of late particularly ani- 
madverted upon the doctrine of Universal Resto^ 
ration are, in America, President Edwards and his 
son. Dr. Edwards ; and in England, Mr. Daniel 
Taylor, Mr. Fisher, and Mr. Andrew Fuller.f 

Mr. Broughton, at the close of his Dissertations 
on Futurity (shocked at the idea of eternal 
punishment in every case) proposes the folio w- 

* Such is the account of the followers of Mr. Relly, sent me 
by a respectable member amongst them. I have taken the Hb- 
erty of appl)ing to tliem the title of Relly an Unrversalists^ merely 
by way of distinction. The term Antinoir.ian has been bestow- 
ed upon them ; but as it conveys a degree of reproach it is 
here avoided. Indeed, beheving that Clirist has made saiis-e 
faction for the sins of all mankind, they are of opinion that 
no future punisliment attaches to unbelievers, except tliat con- 
demnatory suspence, which they feel after death, till the mani- 
festation of the S aviour ! Tliis sentiment most probably has 
subjected them to the imputation of Antinomianism — and hence 
it has been remarked that they are the only consistent Satisfac- 
tionists in the world. For sins once atoned for, cannot be the 
subject of punishment. 

t For most of the above account of the Unirversalists^ preced- 
ing that of the Rellyan Universalists, the author is indebted to a 
popular minister of that persuasion ; and the sketch of the De- 
sfruriicmsts was sent by a gentleman who espouses the doctrine 
^C destruction. 



ing hypothesis—^' That the spirit of God had 
made choice of an ambiguous term oaovioi acknowl- 
edged on both sides, sometimes to be an eternal^ 
and sometimes only a temporary duration, with 
Ithe wise view, that men might live in fear of 
everlasting punishment ; because, it is possible^ 
it may be everlasting ; and at the same time 
God be at liberty, (if I may so speak) without im- 
peachment of his faithfulness and truth, to mflict 
either finite or infinite punishment, as his divine 
wisdom, power, and goodness shall direct." He 
however, only suggests this scheme with an amf 
able and becoming modesty. 


BETWEEN the system of restoration and the 
system of endless misery y a middle hypothesis oi 
the FINAL DESTRUCTION of the wicked (after 
having suffered the punishment due to their 
crimes) has been adopted more particularly hy Dr. 
John Taylor, of Norwich ; the Rev. Mr. Bourne,, 
of Birmingham ; and Mr. John Marsom-, in t/,vo 
small volumes, of whieh there has been a second 
edition with additions. They say that the scrip- 
ture possitively asserts this doctrine of destruc- 
tion ; that the nature of future punishment (w^hich 


the scripture terms death) determines the mean- 
ing of the words everlastings eternaly for ever^ 
&c. as denoting endless duration ; because no law 
ever did or can inflict the punishment of death for 
a limited period ; that the punishment cannot be 
corrective, because no man was ever put to death, 
either to convince his judgmejit or to reform his 
conduct ; that if the wicked receive a punish- 
ment apportioned to their crimes, their deHver- 
ance is neither to be attribured to the mercy of 
God, nor the mediation of Jesus Christ, but is an 
act of absolote justice ; and finally, that the me- 
diatorial kingdom of Jesus Christ will never be 
delivered up, since the scripture asserts, that of 
his kingdom there shall be no end. Those who 
maintain these sentiments respecting the destruc- 
tion of the wicked, are accused of espousing the 
doctrine of annihilation ; but this accusation they 
repel, alledging, that philosophically speaking, 
there can be no annihilation, and that destruction 
is the express phrase used in the New Testament, 
Of this sentiment there have been many advocates 
distinguished for their erudition and piety. 



THE Sabbatarians are a body of Christians 
who keep the seventh day as the Sahhathy and are 
to be found principally, if not wholly, among the 
Baptists. The common reasons why Christians 
observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath 
are, that on this day Christ rose from the dead ; 
that the apostles assembled, preached, and admin- 
istered the Lord's Supper, and that it has been 
kept by the church for several ages, if not from 
the time when Christianity was originally pro- 
mulgated. The Sabbatarians, however, think 
these reasons unsatisfactory, and assert that the 
change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the 
first day of the week, was effected by Constan- 
tine, upon his conversion to the Christian religion* 
The three following propositions contain a sum- 
mary of their principles as to this article of the 
Sabbath, by which they stand distinguished. 1st, 
That God hath required the observation of the 
seventh, or last day of every w^eek, to be observ- 
ed by mankind universally for the weekly sabbath. 
2dly, That this command of God is perpetually 
binding on man till time shall be no more ; and 
3dly, That this sacred rest of the seventh day 
sabbath is not (by divine authority) changed from 
the seventh and last to the first day of the week, 
or that the scripture doth no where require the 


observation of any other day of the week for the 
weekly sabbath, but the seventh day only. There 
are two congregations of the Sabbatarians in Lon- 
don, one among the General Baptists meeting in 
Mill-yard, Goodman's Fields, the other among the 
Particular Baptists meeting in Red-Cross-street, 
Cripplegate. There are also a few to be found in 
different parts of the kingdom. 

Mr. Morse informs us that there are many Sab- 
batarians in America. ^^ Some (says he) in 
Rhode Island observe the Jewish or Saturday sab- 
bath, from a persuation that it was one of the ten 
commandments, which they plead are all in their 
nature moral, and were never abrogated in the 
New Testament. Though, on the contrary, oth- 
e.i's of them believe it originated at the time of the 
creation, in the command given to Adam, by the 
Creator himself.'* See Genesis, chap. ii. 3. ^' At 
New Jersey also there are three congregation of 
the Seventh Day Baptists ; and at Ephrata, in 
Pennsylvania, there is one congregation of them 
called Tunkers. There are likewise a few Bap- 
tists who keep the seventh day as holy time, who 
are the remains of the Keithean or duaker Bap- 

This tenet has given rise to various contro- 
versies, and waiters of ability have appeared 
on both sides of the question, Mr. Cornth- 


waite, a respectable minister among them, about 
the year 1740, published several tracts in support of 
it, which ought to be consulted by those who wish 
to obtain satisfaction on the subject. The reader 
should also have recourse to Dr. Chandler's two 
discourses on the Sabbath, Mr. Amner's Disserta- 
tion on the Weekly Festival of the Christian 
Church, Dr. Kennicot's Sermon and Dialogue on 
the Sabbath, the Rev. S. Palmer's pubhcation on 
the Nature and Obligation of the Christian Sab- 
bath, and Estlin's apology for the Sabbath — all of 
which are worthy of attention. But whatever 
controversy may have been agitated on the sub- 
ject, certain it is, that were there no particular 
day set apart for the purpose of devotion (for 
which some in the present day contend) our 
knowledge of human nature authorises us to say, 
that virtue and religion would be either greatly 
debilitated or finally lost from among mankind. 
The Sabbatarians hold in common with other 
Christians, the distinguishing doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, and though much reduced in number, de- 
serve this distinct mention, on account of their 
integrity and respectability.* 

* Most of the above particulars respecting the Sabbatarians 
were communicated to the author by some worthy individuals 
of that persuasion. 



THE Moravians are supposed to have arisen 
under Nicholas Lewis, Count of Zinzendorf, a 
German nobleman, who died 1760. They were 
also called HernhuterSy from Hernhuthy the name 
of the village where they were first settled. The 
followers of Count Zinzendorf are called Mora- 
vians, because the first converts to his sj^stem 
were some Moravian families ; the society 
themselves, how^ever assert, that they are de- 
scended from the old Moravian and Bohemian 
Brethren, who existed as a distinct sect sixty 
years prior to the reformation. They also stile 
themselves Unitas Fratrumy or the United 
Brethren ; and, in general, profess to adhere to 
the Augsburg confession of faith. When the 
first reformers were assembled at Augsburg in 
Germany, the Protestant Princes employed Me- 
lancthon, a divine of learning and moderation, 
to draw up a confession of their faith, expressed 
in terms as little offensive to the Roman Catho- 
lics as a regard for truth would permit. And 
this creed, from the place where it was presented, 
is called the Confession of Augsburg. It is 
not easy to unravel the leading tenets of the 
Moravians, Opinions and practices have been 
attributed to them of an exceptionable nature, 
which the more sensible of them disavow. They 


direct their worship to Jesus Christ ; (addressing 
hymns even to the wound or hole in the side of 
the Saviour) ; are much attached to instrumental 
as well as vocal music in their religious services ; 
and discover a predilection for forming themselves 
into classes, according to sex, age, and charac- 
ter. Their founder not only discovered his zeal 
in travelling in person over Europe, but has taken 
special care to send missionaries into almost every 
part of the known world. They revive their de- 
votion by celebrating agap^e, or love-feasts, and 
the casting of lots is used amongst them to know 
the will of the Lord. The sole right of con- 
tracting marriage lies with the elders. In Mr. 
La Trobe's edition of Spangenburgh's exposition 
of Christian doctrine, their principles are detailed 
at length. There is a large community of them 
at a village near Leeds, which excites the curiosi- 
ty of the traveller ; and they have places of wor- 
ship in various parts of the kingdom. Mr. Rimius 
published his candid narrative of this people, and 
Bishop Lavington (w^ho wrote also against the 
Methodists) replied, m 1755, in his Moravians 
compared and detected. Mr. Weld, in his Tra- 
vels through the United StateSy gives a curious 
account of a Settlement of Moravians at Beth^ 
lehem, honourable to their virtue and piety. 

Dr. Paley, in his Evidences of Christianity^ 
pays the following compliment to the religious 


Practices of the Moravians and Methodists ; he 
^n speaking of the first Christians — ^^ After men 
became ChristianSy much of their time was spent 
in prayer and devotion — in religious meetings — in 
celebrating the eucharist — in conferences — in ex- 
hortations — in preaching — in an affectionate inter- 
course with one another, and correspondence 
with other societies. Perhaps their mode of life in 
its form and habit, was not very unlike that of the 
Unitas Fratrum or of modern Methodists. "^^ 
Be it, however, the desire of every body of 
Christians not only thus to imitate the 'primitive 
disciples in their outward conduct, but to aspire 
after the peaceableness of t.^ezr tempers, and the 
purity of their lives.'' 


Sandemanians,* a modern sect, that origi- 
nated in Scotland about the year 1 728 ; where it 
is, ^ at this time, distinguished by the name of 
Glassites, after its founder, Mr. John Glas, who 
w^as a minister of the established church in that 
kingdom, but being charged with a design of 
subverting the national covenant, and sapping the 

* The author has been favoured with tliis entii'e account of 
the Sandemanians by a gent'eman «f respectability, who be- 
longs to tliat body of Cluistians. 


foundation of all national establishments, by 
maintaining that the kingdom of Christ is not of 
this worldy was expelled by the synod from the 
church of Scotland. His sentiments are fully 
explained in a tract published at that time, enti- 
tled, ^^ The Testimony of the King of Martyrs," 
and preserved in the first volume of his worKs* 
In consequence of Mr. Glas's expulsion his ad- 
herents formed themselves into churches, con- 
formable in their institution and discipline, to 
what the}'^ apprehend to be the plan of the first 
churches recorded in the New Testament. Soon 
after the year 1755, Mr. Robert Sandeman, an 
elder in one of thes e churches in Scotland, pub- 
lished a series of letters addressed to Mr. Hervey, 
occasioned by his Theron and Aspasio, in which 
he endeavors to shew, that his notion of faith is 
contradictory to the scripture account of it, and 
could only serve to lead men, professedly holding 
the doctrines called Calvinistic, to establish their 
own righteousness upon their frames, feelings, 
and acts of faith. In these letters Mr. Sandemaa 
attempts to prove that faith is neither more nor 
less than a simple assent to the divine testimony 
concerning Jesus Christ, delivered for the of- 
1 fences of men, and raised again for their justifi- 
i cation, as recorded in the New Testament. He 
! ^Iso maitains that the word faith or belief, is 
constantly used by the apostles to signify what 


is denoted by it in common discourse, viz. a per- 
suasion of the truth of any proposition, and that 
there is no difference between believing any com- 
mon testimony and believing the apostolic testi- 
mony, except that which results from the testi- 
mony itself, and the divine authority on which it 
re'sts. This led the way to a controversy among 
those w^ho are called Calvinists, concerning the 
nature of justifying faith, and those who adopted 
Mr. Sandeman's notion of it, and they who are 
denominated Sandemanians, formed themselves 
into church order, in strict fellowship with the 
churches of Scotland, but holding no kind of 
communion with other churches, Mr. Sandeman 
died 1772, in America. 

The chief opinion and practices in which this 
sect differs from other Christians, are, their 
weekly administration of the Lord's Supper ; their 
love-feasts, of which every member is not only 
allowed, but required to partake, and which con- 
sist of their dining together at each other's houses 
in the interval between the morning and after- 
noon service— their kiss of charity used on this 
occasion, at the admission of a new member, and 
at other times when they deem it necessary and 
proper ; their w^eekly collection before the Lord's 
Supper, for the support of the poor and defraying 
other expences ; mutual exhortation ; abstinence 
iFom blood and things strangled ; washing each 


Other's feet, when, as a deed of mercy, it might 
be an expression of love ; the precept concerning 
which, as well as other precepts, they understand 
literally — community of goods, so far as that 
every one is to consider all that he has in his pos- 
session and power liable to the calls of the poor 
and the church, and the unlawfulness of laying 
up treasures upon earth, by setting them apart for 
any distant, future, and uncertain use. They al- 
low of public and private diversions so far as they 
are not connected with circumstances really sin- 
ful : but apprehending a lot to be sacred, disap- 
prove of lotteries, playing at cards, dice, &c. 

They maintain a plurality of elders, pastors, or 
bishops, in each church, and the necessity of the 
presence of two elders, in every act of discipline, 
and at the administration of the Lord's Supper. 

In the choice of these elders, want of learning 
and engagement in trade are no sufficient objec- 
tions, if qualified according to the instructions 
given to Timothy and Titus ; but second marri- 
ages disqualify for the offixe ; and they are or, 
dained by prayer and fasting, imposition of hands, 
and giving the right hand of fellowship. 

In their discipline they are strict and severe, 
and think themselves obliged to separate from the 
communion and worship of all such religious 
societies, as appear to them not to profess the 
.s/mple truth for their only ground of hope, and 


who do not walk in obedience to it. We shall 
eiily add, that in every transaction they esteem 
unanimity to be absolutely necessary. 


HureHINSONlANS, the followers of John 
Hutchinson, born in Yorkshire, 1674, and who in 
the early part of life served the Duke of Somer- 
set, in the capacity of a steward. The Hebrew 
scriptures, he says, comprise a perfect system of 
natural philosophy, theology, and religion. In 
opposition to Dr. Woodward's Natural History of 
the Earth, Mr, Hutchinson, in 1 724, published the 
Srst part of his curious book, called, Moseses 
Principia* Its second part was presented to the 
public in 1727, which contains, as he apprehends, 
the principles of the scripture philosophy, which 
are a plenum and the air, So_high an opinion did 
he entertain of the Hebrew language, that he 
thouglit the Almighty must have employed it to 
communicate ever3^ species of knowledge, and 
that accordingly every species of knowledge is to 
be found in the Old Testament. Of his mode of 
philosophising the following specimen is brought 
forward to the reader's attention. ^^ The air (he 
supposes) exists in three conditions, fire, light, and 
spirit, the tw^o latter are the finer and grosser 
parts of the air in motion : from the earth to the 


sun, the air is finer and finer until it becomes pure 
light near the confines of the sun, and fire in the 
orb of the sun, or solar focus. From the earth 
towards the circumference of this system, in which 
he includes the fixed stars, the air becomes gross- 
er and grosser until it becomes stagnant, in which 
condition it is at the utmost verge of this system^ 
from whence (in his opinion) the expression of 
outer darkness^ and blackness of darkness used 
in the New Testament seems to be taken." 

The followers of Mr. Hutchinson are numer- 
ous, and among others the Rev. Mr, Romaine, 
Lord Duncan Forbes, of Culloden, and the late 
amiable Dr. Home, Bishop of Norwich, who pub- 
lished an Abstract of Mr. Hutchinson's writings. 
They have never formed themselves into any dis- 
tinct church or society. 

The Dunkers and Shakers are two sects pecu- 
liar to America. 


THE DuNKEKS (or Tunkers) arose about 1721, 
and formed themselves into a kind of common- 
wealth, mostly in Pennsylvania. They baptize 
by immersion, dress like the Dominican friars 


never shave head nor beard, have diffc^rent apart- 
ments for the sexes, live chiefly on roots and ve- 
getables, except at their love-feasts, when they 
^at only mutton. It is said that no bed is allowed 
them but in case of sickness, for in their separate 
cells they have a bench to lie upon, and a block 
ef wood for their pillow. Their principal tenet 
is the mortification of the body, and they deny 
the eternity of future punishment. They are 
» ommonly called the harmless Bunkers. 


THE Shakers, instituted in 1774, are the 
followers of Anna Leese, whom they style the 
elect Lady, and the mother of all the Elect. 
They say she is the woman mentioned in the 
twelfth chapter of the Revelations, can speak 
seventy-two tongues, and converses with the dead. 
Their enthusiasm is vented in jumping, dancing, 
and violent exertions of the body, which bringing 
on shakingy they are termed Shakers. This 
dancing, they say, denotes their victory over 
sin. Their most favourite exercise is turning 
round for an hour or two, which, in their opin- 
ion, shews the great power of God. See a curi- 
ous account of the Shakers in the ^first volume 
of the Duke de la Rochefoucault's Travels 
through America^ 



^^ Many of those who lately migrated from 
Wales to America, have adopted the following 
articles as their religious constitution. 1. The 
convention shall be called the Christian Church' 

^^ 2. It shall never be called by another name, 
or be distinguished by the particular tenets of any 
man or set of men, 

*^ 3. Jesus Christ is the only head — believers in 
him the only members — and the New Testament 
the only rule of the fraternity. 

*^ ^4. In mental matters, each member shall en- 
joy his own sentiments, and freely discuss every 
subject : but in discipline, a strict conformity with 
the precepts of Christ, is required. 

^^ 5. Every distinct society belonging to this 
association, shall have the same power of admit- 
ting its members, electing its officers, and in case 
of mal-conduct, of impeaching them. 

" 6. Delegates from the different congrega- 
tions, shall meet from time to time, at an ap- 
pointed place, to consult the welfare and ad- 
vancement of the general interest. 

" 7. At every meeting for religious worship, 
collections shall be made for the poor, and the 


promulgation of the gospel among the Heathens.'*^ 
This plan, which has many traits to recom- 
mend it, originated chiefly with the Rev, M, J. 
ReeSy who a few years ago emigrated from 
Wales, and has distinguished himself in America, 
by his talents and activity. 

As to the other sects in the United States, they 
are much the same as on this side of the Atlantic. 
For an account of them, the reader may consult 
Morsels American Geography^ and Winterho- 
ihom^s History of America. 


THE Mystics are those who profess a pure 
and sublime devotion, with a disinterested love of 
God, free from all selfish considerations. Passive 
contemplation is a state of perfection to which 
they aspire. Of this description there have been 
many singular characters, especially Madam 
Guyon, a French lady, who made a great noise 
in the religious world. Fenelon, the amiable 
Archbi:^hop of Cambray, favoured the sentiments 
gf this female devotee, for which he was repri- 
manded by the Pope, and to whose animadver- 
sions he most dutijully assented contrary to the 
convictions of his own mind, It is not uncom- 


mon for the Mystics to allegorise certain passa- 
ges of scripture, at the same time not denying 
the literal sense, as havhig an allusion to the in- 
ward experience of believers. Thus, according 
to them, the word Jerusalciriy which is the name 
of the capital of Judea, signifies allegorically the 
church militant ; morally, a believer ; and mys- 
teriously, heaven. That fine passage also in Gen- 
esis, ^^ Let there be light, and there was light," 
which is, according to the letter, corporeal light, 
signifies allegorically, the Messiah ; morally, 
grace, and mysteriously, beatitude, or the light of 
glory. Mysticism is not confined to any partic- 
ular profession of Christianity, but is to be under- 
stood as generally applied to those who dwell up- 
on the invoard operations of the mind (sueh as the 
Quakers, &c.) laying little or no stress on the 
outward ceremonies of religion.^ 


THE SWEDENBORGIANS are the followers of 
Emannuel Swedeborg, a Swedish nobleman, who 

* The two following sects are occa.sionally mentioned in 
conversation, and the autlior has been asked by young people^ 
more than once for an explanation of them. A short account 
therefore is h^re subjoined. 


died in London, 1772. He professed himself to 
be the founder (under the Lord) of the Netv Je- 
rusalem Churchy alluding to the New Jerusaleni 
spoken of in the Book of the Revelation of St. 
John. His tenets, although peculiarly distinct 
from every other S3'stem of divinity in Christen- 
dom, are nevertheless drav\^n from the Holy 
Scriptures, and supported by quotations from 
them. He asserts, that in the year 1743, the 

The I^i/t/^ Monarchy Men were a set of enthusiasts in the 
time of Cromwell, who expected the sudden appearance of 
Christ to establish on earth a new monarchy^ or kingdom. In 
consequence of tliis allusion some of them aimed at the sub- 
version of all human government. In ancient history we read 
of four great monarcliies, the Assyrian, the Persian, the 
Grecian, and the Roman : and these men believing that this 
new spiritual kingdom of Clirist was to be the fifths came to 
bear the name by which they are distinguished. See Burnet's 
History of liis own Times, where the reader will find a particu- 
lar account of them. The Muggletonians were the followers 
of Ludovic Muggleton, a journeyman taylor, who with his 
companion, Reeves, (a person of equal obscurity) set up for 
Prophets, in the turbu'ent times of Cromwell. They pretended 
to absolve or condemn whom they pleased, and gave out that 
they were the two last witnesses spoken of in the Revelations 
who were to appear previous to the final destruction of the 
world. r>r. Gregory, in his Ecclesiastical History remarks, 
'that the Aluggletonians, UchreuaUists, Lihbadists, Verschorists^ 
&c. who derive their nameirom their respective founders were 
mere ephemeral productions. Indeed they just appeared and 
tlien passed away ! 


Lord manifested himself to him in a personal ap- 
pearance ; and at the same time opened his spir- 
itual eyes, so that he was enabled constantly to 
see and converse with spirits and angels.* 
From that time he began to print and publish 
various wonderful things, which, he says, were 
revealed to him, relating to heaven and hell, 
the state of man after death, the worship of God, 
the spiritual sense of the scriptures, the various 
earths in the universe, and their inhabitants, with 
many other extraordinary particulars, the knowl- - 
edge of which was, perhaps, never pretended to 
by any other wn'iter, before or since his time. 
He denies a Trinity of persons in the Godhead, 
but contends for a divine Trinity in the single 

* Iferon Swedenborg, in his treatise concerning heaven and 
hell^ and of the wonderful things therein, as heard and seen by 
him, makes the following declaration. "As often as I con- 
versed with angels face to face, it was in their habitationa» ' 
which are like to our houses on earth, but far more beautiful 
and magnificent, having rooms, chambers, and apa; tme«ts in 
great variety, as also spacious courts belonging to them, to- 
gether with the gardens, parterres of flowers, &c. where 
the angels are formed into societies. They dwell in contigu- 
ous habitations, disposed after the manner of our cities, 
in streets, walks, and squares. I have had the privilege to 
walk through them, to examine all around about me, and to 
enter their houses, and this when I was fully awake, having my 
inward eyes opened." A similar description is given of 
hearven itself, but the reader is referred to the treatise whence 
this curious extract is taken. 


person of Jesus Christ alone, consisting of a Fath- 
er, Son, and Holy Spirit, just like the human 
Trinity in every individual man, of soul, body, and 
proceeding operation : and he asserts, that as the 
latter Trinity constitutes one man, so the former 
Trinity constitutes one Jehovah God, who is at 
once the Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator. 
On this and other subjects, Dr, Priestly addressed 
letters to the members of the New Jerusalem 
Churchy to which several replies were made, and 
particularly one by Mr. R. Hindmarsh, a printer. 
Baron Swedenborg further maintains that the 
sacred scripture contains three distinct senses, 
called celestial, spiritual, and natural, which 
are united by correspondencies ; and that in each 
sense it is divine truth, accommodated respect- 
ively to the angels of the three heavens, and also 
to men on earth. This science of correspondr 
encies (it is said) had been lost for some thou- 
sand of 3'ears, viz. ever since the time of Job, 
but is now revived by Emanuel Swedenborg, 
who uses it as a key to the spiritual or internal 
sense of the sacred scripture, every page of which, 
he says, is written by correspondencies, that is, 
by such things in the natural world as correspond 
unto and signify things in the spiritual world* 
He denies the doctrine of atonement, or vicarious 
sacrifice, together with the doctrines of predesti- 


nation, unconditional election^ justification by faith 
alone, the resurrection of the material body, &c. 
and in opposition thereto maintains, that man is 
possessed of free-will in spiritual things ; that sal- 
vation is not attainable without repentance, that 
is, abstaining from evils because they are sins 
against God, and living a life of charity and faith, 
according to the commandments ; that man, im- 
mediately on his decease, rises again in a spiritual 
body, which was inclosed in his material body, 
and that in this spiritual body he lives as a man 
to eternity, either in heaven or hell, according 
to the quality of his past life. 

It is further maintained by Baron Swedenborg, 
and his followers, that all those passages in the 
sacred scripture, generally supposed to signify the 
destruction of the world by fire, &c. commonly 
called the last judgment, must be understood ac- 
cording to the above-mentioned science of cor- 
respondencies, which teaches, that by the end of 
the world, or consummation of the age, is not 
signified the destruction of the w^orld, but the 
destruction or end of the present Christian 
church, both among Roman Catholics and Pro- 
testants of every description or denomination ; 
and that the last judgment actually took place 
in the spiritual w^orld in the year 1757 ; from 
which 9era is dated the second advent of the 
Lord, and the commencement of a new Christian 


church, which, they say, is meant by the new 
heaven and new earth in the Revelation, and the 
New Jerusalem thence descending. 

Such are the outlines of Baron Swedenborg's 
principal doctrines, collected from his voluminous 
writings. His followers are numerous in England, 
Germany, Sweden, &c. and also in America. 
They use a liturgy, and instrumental, as well as 
vocal music, in their public worship.* Mr. Proud, 
formerly a General Baptist minister, is at present 
the most popular preacher among them. He used 
to officiate at their Chapel in Hatton Garden, but 
now preaches in the vicinity of St. James' Square. 
Their ministers have a particular dress both for 
praying and preaching, so that they may be said 
to study variety. 

We shall close our list of DENOMINATIONS 
with an account of that discriminating article of 
belief, which refers to the Jinal triiwiphs of 
Christianity, Its advocates are not indeed a sect 
distinct from others, but their tenets prevails in a 
less or greater degree throughout almost every 
department of the religious world. 

* Almost the whole of the above account was sent to the 
author for insertion by a gentleman of that denomination. 




THE MiLLENARiANS are those who believe 
that Christ will reign personally on earth for a 
thousand years, and their name, taken from the 
Latin, milley a thousand, has a direct allusion to 
the duration of this spiritual empire, " The doc- 
trine of the Millenium, or a future paradisaical 
state of the earth, (says a monthly review) is not 
of Christian but of Jewish origin. The tradition 
is attributed to Elijah, which fixes the duration of 
the world in its present imperfect condition to six 
thousand years, and announces the approach of a 
sabbath of a thousand years of universal peace and 
plenty, to be ushered in by the glorious advent of 
the Messiah ! This idea may be traced in the epis- 
tle of Barnabas, and in the opinions of Papias, 
who knew of no written testimony in its behalf. 
It was adopted by the author of the revelations, 
by Justin Martyr, by Iraenus, and by a long suc- 
cession of the fathers. As the theory is animat- 
ing and consolatory, and, when divested of cabal- 
istic numbers and allegorical decorations, probable 
even in the eye of philosophy, it will no doubt al- 
ways retain a number of adherents.''^ 

* It is somewhat remarkable, that Druidism, the religion of 
tlie first inliabitants of tliis island, had a particular reference t<; 


But as the Millenium has of late attracted 
the attention of the public, we shall enter into a 
short detail of it. 

Mr. Joseph Mede, Dr. Gill, Bishop Newton, 
and Mr. Winchester, contend for the personal 
reign of Christ on earth. To use that prelate's 
own words, in his Dissertations on the Prophe- 
cies — ^^ When these great events shall come to 
pass, of which we collect from the prophecies, 
this to be the proper order ; the Protestant wit- 
nesses shall be greatly exalted, and the 1260 
years of their prophecying in sackcloth, and of 
the tyranny of the beast, shall end together ; the 
conversion and restoration of the Jews succeed ; 
then follows the ruin of the Othman empire ; 
and then the total destruction of Rome and of 
Antichrist. When these great events, I say, 
shall come to pass, then shall the kingdom of 
Christ commence, or the reign of the saints upon 
t'^arth. So Daiiiel expressly informs us, that the 
kingdom of Christ and the saints will be raised 

<he progi'cssive melioration of the hiunan species. A notion of 
a Milienium seems to have been faniiliar to their minds, and 
therefore forms a striking coincidence with Cliristianity. The 
tenets of Druidism (which also include the doctrine of universal 
restoration) are far from being extinct in the principality. See 
a curious and interesting sketch of the system of Druidism, in 
seme ingenious Poems, by Edward Williams, the Widish BarJy 
"*n two volumes. 


upon the ruins of the kingdom of Antichrist, 7. 
26, 27. But the judgment shall sif, and they 
shall take azi'ay his dominion to consume and 
to destroy it unto the end : and the kingdom 
and dominion^ and the greatness of the kingdom 
under the whole heaven, shall he given to the 
people of the saints of the most High, whose 
kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all 
dominion shall serve and obey him. So hke* 
wise St, John saith, that upon the final de- 
struction of the beast and the false prophet^ 
Rev. XX. Satan is bound for a thousand years ; 
and I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and 
judgment was given unto them ; and I saw the 
souls of them that were beheaded for the imtness 
of Jesus Christ and for the word of God ; which 
had not xvorshipped the beast, neither his image ; 
neither has received the mark upon their fore- 
heads or in their hands, and they lived and 
reigned tvith Christ a THOUSAND years. But 
the rest of the dead lived not again until the 
thousand years were finished. This is the first 
resurrection. It is, I conceive, to these great 
events the fall of Antichrist, the re-establishment 
of the Jews, and the beginning of the glorious 
MILLENIUM, that the three different dates in 
Daniel of 1260 years, 1290 years, and 1335 
years, are to be referred. And as Daniel saith. 


xii. 12. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh 
the 1335 years. So St. John saith, xx. 6. Bless- 
ed and holy is he that hath part in thejirst res- 
urrection. Blessed and happy indeed will be 
this period ; and it is very observable, that the 
inartyrs and confessors of Jesus, in Papist as well 
as Pagan times, will be raised to partake of this 
felicity. Then shall all those gracious promises 
in the Old Testament be fulfilled — of the am- 
plitude and extent — of the peace and prosperity — 
cf the glory and happiness of the church in the 
latter days. Then, in the full sense of the words. 
Rev. xi. 15. Shall the kingdoms of this world 
become the kingdoms of our Lord^ and of his 
Christy and he shall reign for ever and ever. 
According to tradition,* these thousand years of 
the reign of Christ and the saints, will be the 
seventh Millenary of the world ; for as God 
created the world in six days, and rested on the 
seventh, so the world, it is argued, will continue " 
six thousand years, and the seventh thousand, \\\\\ 
be the great Sabbatism or holy rest to the people 
of God. One day (2 Pet. iii. 8.) being with 
the Lord, as a thousand years and a thousand 
years as one day. According to tradition too, 
these thousand years of the reign of Christ and 

* See BuJnet's Theory. 



the saints, are the great day of judgment, in the 
morning or beginning whereof, shall be the com- 
ing of Christ in flaming fire, and the particular 
judgment of Antichrist and the first resurrection ; 
and in the evening or conclusion whereof, shall 
be the GENERAL RESURRECTION of the dead, 
small and great ; and they shall be judged 
every man according to their works,^^^ 

This is a just representatian of the Millenium^ 
according to the common opinion entertained of 
it, that Christ will reign personally on earth 
during the period of one thousand years ! But 
Dr. Whitby, in a Dissertation on the subject / 
Dr. Priestljj^ in his Institutes of Religion, and 
the author of the Illustrations of Prophecy^ 
contend against the literal interpretation of the 
Millenium, both as to its nature and its duration. 
On such a topic, however, we cannot suggest 
our opinions with too great a degree of modesty. 

* Mr. Winchester, in his Lecture: on the Prophecies^ freely 
sndulg^es his imagination on tliis curious subject. He suggests, 
that the large rivers in America are all on the eastern side ^ 
that the Jews may waft themselves the more eas'iiy down to 
the Atlantic, and then cross that vast ocean to the Holy Land , 
tliat Christ will appear at the equinoxes (eisher March or Sep- 
fember) when tlie days and nights are equal all over the globe 4 
md finally, that the body of Christ will be luminous, and being 
;>uspended in the air over tlie equator, for twenty-four hoctrsj 
will be seen ^mX\\ circumstances of peculiar gior/^ frdm pol^ t& 
pole, by all x\\n inhabitants of the world ! 


Dr. Priestly (entertaining an exalted idea of the 
advantages to which our nature may be destined) 
treats the limitation of the duration of the world 
to seven thousand years, as a Rabbinical fable ; 
and intimates that the thousand years may be in- 
terpreted prophetically ; then every day would 
signify a year, and the Millenium would last for 
three hundred and sixty-Jive thousand years \ 
Again he supposes that there will be no resurrec- 
tion of any individuals till the general resurrec- 
tion ; and that the Millenium implies only the 
revival of religion. This opinion is indeed to be 
found in his Institutes, published many years ago, 
but latterly he has inclined to the per^nal reign 
of Christ. See his Farewell Sermon, preached 
at Hackne)^, previous to his emigration to Amer- 
ica. The same conjecture as to its duration is 
thrown out by the author of the Illustrations of 
Prophecy ; but he contends that in the period 
commonly called the Millenium, a melio»ration of 
the human race will gradual!}'' take place, by 
natural means, throughout the world. For his 
reasons, we refer to the work itself, where will 
be found an animated sketch of that period, when 
an end shall be put to many of the crimes and 
calamities now prevalent on the globe ! 

The Rev. Mr. Bicheno, of Newbury, likewise, 
has in his late publications thrown out some 


curious particulars respecting the Millenium y and 
though the reader may not agree with him in 
many things, yet he will applaud his ingenuity. 
We will just add that the late Mr. Nathaniel 
Scarlett^ at the time of his decease was preparing 
for the press a piece on the Millenium, entitled 
the Millenial AgCy which was to contain all the 
passages of scripture relating to the subject — ac- 
companied with several admirabl}'- executed plates, 
by way of illustration. But his death prevents its 

This final article of the Millenium, shall be 
closed w^ith one observation. However the Mil- 
lenarians ^^y differ among themselves respect- 
ing the nature of this great event, it is agreed on 
all hands, that such a revolution will be effected 
in the latter days, by which vice and its attend- 
ant misery shall be banished from the earth ; thiis 
completely forgetting all those dissent ions and an- 
imosities by which the religious world has been 
agitated, and terminating the gran^ drama of 
providence with UNIVERSAL FELICITY.* 

* The professors of Christianity have inslHnted' Societies ioe 
tlie advancement of religion. Tliere are four which deserves 
to be mentioned : 1. The Society for promoting Christian Knonvl- 
edge^ which erects charity fchools in England and Wales, and 
distribute*? Bibles, Comnaon Prayer Books^ and rebgious tracts.. 


THESE are the divisions of human opinions, 
which characterize the more popular departments 
of the religious world, I have endeavored to 
delineate them with acuracy and brevity. Each 
system, boasts of admirers, and professes to have 
its peculiar arguments and tendencies. To a 
thoughtful mind they exhibit a melancholy pic- 
ture of the human understanding, misguided 
through passion,, and warped with prejudice. In 
drawing out the motley catalogue, several cur- 
sory reflections arose in my mind. A few only, 
such as may operate as a persuasive to religious 
moderation, and tend also to the improvement of 
other Christian graces, shall be submit^ to the 
reader^s attention* 

2. T^e Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts^ which takes care that the West India islands 
and the British colonies in North America are provided with 
episcopal clergj-men and schoolmasters ; 3. A Society in Scot- 
land for propagating Christian Knonukdge, designed to banish 
ignorance and prpfaneness from the Highlands and Western 
Islands ; and, 4. A Society established in Ireland called The In" 
corporated Society in Dublin for promoting English Protestant 
Working Schools. 

Mr. Daniel Neal, about 60 year* ago, estimated the number 
of Dissenters in England at one hundred and fifty thousand 
families ; but since that period it is^ believed that they have 
decUned. At present the proportion of Nonconformists to the 
Atembers of the Church of England is supposed to be as one to 
jrve ; and it is singular that the saine proportion holds between 
the Episcopalians aSKi Roman Catholics in Ireland. 


I pray God to give all his ministers and people more and more 
of the Spirit of Wisdom and of love^ and of a sound mind^ and 
to remove far from us tliose mutual jealousies and animosities 
which liinder our acting with that unanimity which is neces- 
sary to the successful carrying on of our common nvarfare against 
the enemies of Christianity. 

Doddridge"* s Rise and Progress of Religion* 

1, SINCE the best and wisest of mankind 
thus differ on the speculative tenets of religion, 
let us modestly estimate the extent of the human 

* As the author has in the Sequel, to this Sketch, brought to- 
gether the testimonies of Divines of the Church of Eni?;land, the 
Kirk of Scotland, and from amongst the Dissenters, in behalf 
of candor and charity, so with these reflections he lias inter- 
woven the sentiments of some of the most distinguislied of the 
Laity on the subject. The declarations oi £>e Thou, Lord 
hyttleton. Lord Chatham, together with those of Locke, Mans- 
field, and Washingtom, are entitled to particular attention. See 
a Humhle Attempt to promote Union and Peace among Christians^ 
ly inculcating the principles of Christsan Liberty. By R. 
Wright, of Wisbeach. It is a work of merit, and happily 
calculated to promote the purpose for wliichit has been written 
and published. 


A modest estimate of the human faculties is an 
irresistible inducement to moderation. After 
laborious investigations, probably with equal de- 
grees of knowledge and integrity, men arrive 
at opposite conclusions. This is a necessary 
consequence of imperfection. Human reason, 
weak and fallible, soars with feeble, and of- 
ten with ineffectual wing, into the regions of 
speculation. Let none affirm that this mode 
of argument begets an indifference to the acqui- 
sition and propagation of religious truth. To 
declare that all tenets are alike, is an aiTront to the 
understanding. The chilling hesitation of scep- 
ticism, the forbidding sternness of bigotry, and 
the delirious fever of enthusiasm, are equally 
abhorrent from the genius of true Christianity. 
Truth being the conformity of our conceptions 
to the nature of things, we should be careful lest 
our conceptions be tinctured with error. Philos- 
ophers suppose that the sense convey the most 
determinate species of information : yet these 
senses notwitlistanding their acuteness, are not 
ended with an instinctive infallibility. How 
much greater cause have we to mistrust the ex- 
ercise of our rational powers, w-hich often from 
early infancy are beset with prejudices ! 

Our reason, however, proves of essential use 
to us, in ascertaining the nature of truths andi 
the degrees of evidence with which they are- se- 


verally attended. This necessarily induces a 
modesty of temper, which may be fitly pro- 
nounced the ground-work of charity. Richard 
Baxter, revered for his good sense as well as 
fervent piety, has these remarkable expressions 
on the subject — ^^ I am not so foolish as to pre- 
tend my certainty to be greater than it is, merely 
because it is a dishonour to be less certain ; nor 
will I by shame be kept from confessing those 
infirmities which those have as much as I, who 
hypocritically reproach me with them. My cer- 
tainty that I am a man, is before my certainty 
that there is a God ; my certainty that there is a 
God, is greater than my certainty that he re- 
quireth love and holiness of his creature ; my 
certainty of this, is greater than my certainty of 
the life of reward and punishment hereafter ; my 
certainty of that is greater than my certainty of 
the endless duration of it, and the immortality 
of individual souls ; my certain!}^ of the Deity, 
is greater than my certainty of the Christian 
faith, my certainty of the Christian faith in its 
essentials, is greater than my certainty of the 
perfection and infallibility of all the holy scrip- 
tures ; my certainty of that is greater than my 
certainty of the meaning of any particular texts, 
and so of the truth of many particular doctrines, 
or of the canonicalness of some certain books. 
So that you see by what gradations my under- 


Standing doth proceed, so also that my certainty 
differethy as the evidence differ. And they that 
have attained to a greater perfection and a higher 
degree of certainty than I, should pity me, and 
produce their evidence to help me." This para- 
graph ought to be written in letters of gold. It 
were, indeed to be wished, that this accurate 
statement of the nature and degrees of belief were 
duly impressed on the mind of every Christian ; 
to the want of it must be ascribed the prevalence 
of an ignorant and besotted bigotry. 

Reason, though imperfect, is the noblest gift of 
God, and upon no pretence must it be decried. It 
distinguishes man from the wild beasts of the field 
—constitutes his resemblance to the Deity, and 
elevates him to the superiority he possesses over 
this lower creation. By Deists it is extolled, to 
the prejudice of revelation ; and by Enthusiasts 
depreciated, that they might the more effectually 
impose on their votaries the absurdities of their 
systems. Yet, strange inconsistency ! even these 
enthusiasts condescend to employ this calumniated 
faculty in pointing out the conformity of their ten- 
ets to scripture, and in fabricating evidence for 
their support. But beware of speaking lighty of 
reason, which is emphatically denominated the 
eye of the soul ! Every opprobrious epithet v/ith 
which the thoughtless or the designing dare to 
etigmatize it, vilifies the creator. Circumscribed, 


indeed, are its operations, and fallible are its deci- 
sions. That it is incompetent to investigate cer- 
tain subjects which our curiosity may essay to pen- 
etrate, is universally acknowledged. Its exten- 
sion, therefore, beyond its assigned boundaries, 
has proved an ample source of error. Thus 
Mr. Colliber, an ingenious writer, imagines 
in his treatise, entitled. The Knowledge of God, 
that the Deity must have some form, and inti- 
mates it may probably be spherical ! ! Indeed 
it has generated an endless list of paradoxes, 
and given birth to those monstrous systems of 
metaphysical theology, which are the plague of 
wise men, and the idol of fools. Upon many 
religious topics, which have tried and tortured our 
understandings, the sacred writers are respect- 
fully silent. Where they cease to inform us we 
should drop our enquires; except we claim 
superior degrees of information, and proudly 
deem ourselves more competent to decide on these 
intricate subjects. 

The primitive Christians, in some of their 
councils, elevated the New Testament on a 
throne — thus intimating their concern, that by 
that volume alone their disputes should be finally 
determined. The great president, De Thou, re- 
marks " that the sword of the word of God ought 
to be the sole weapon — and those who are no 
longer to be compelled should be quietly attracted 


by moderate considerations and amicable dis- 

2. The diversity of religious opinions implies 
no reflection upon the sufficiency of scripture to 
instruct us in matters of faith and practice, and 
should not, therefore, be made a pretence for 

Controversies are frequently agitated concern- 
ing words rather than things. This is to be 
ascribed chiefly to the ambiguity of language, 
which has been a fertile source of ecclesiastical 
animosities. But there is not in the world such 
a multitude of opinions as superficial observers 
may imagine. A common gazer at the starry 
firmament conceives the stars to be innumerable : 
but the astronomer knows their number to be 
limited — nay, to be much smaller than a vulgar 
eye would apprehend. On the subjects of reli- 
gion, many men dream rather than think — im- 
agine rather than believe. Were the intellect of 
every individual awake, and preserved in vigor- 
pus exercise, similarity of sentiment w^ould be 
much more prevalent. But mankind will not 
think, and hence thinking has been deemed 
^^ one of the least exerted privileges of cultivated 
humanity." It unfortunately happens that the 
idle flights indulged by enthusiasts — the burden- 
some rites revered by the -superstitious — and the 
^.orrupt maxiiiis adopted b}^ worldly-minded pro- 

RKFLirctlONS. 267 

lessors, are charged on the scriptures of truthr 
Whereas the msph'ed volume is fraught with ra- 
tional doctrines — equitable precepts^ — and immac- 
ulate rules of conduct. Fanciful accommoda- 
tions — distorted passages^ — false translations — and 
forced analogies, have been the despicable means 
employed to debase the Christian doctrine. 
A calm and impartial investigation of the word 
of God raises in our minds conceptions worthy 
the perfections of Deity — suitable to the circum- 
stances of mankind, and adapted to purify and 
exalt our nature : 

Religion's lustre is by native innocence, 

Divinely pure and simple from all arts ; 

You daub and dress her like a common mistress— 

The harlot of your fancies ! and by adding 

False beauties, which she wants not, make the world 

Suspect her angel face is foul beneath, 

And will not bear all lights ! 

The papists deprive their laity of the scrip- 
ture, by restraining its use, and denying its 
sufficiency. The same reason also was as- 
signed to vindicate the necessity of an infallible 
head to dictate in religious matters. Notwith- 
standing these devices to produce unanimity of 
sentiment, they were not more in profession of 
it than the Protestants. The sects,- which at 
different periods sprang up in the bosom, and 
disturbed the tranquility of the Catholic church^^^ 


are proofs that they failed to attain the desired 
object. Pretences, therefore, however goodly, 
iihould be rej^ted, if they tend to invalidate 
the suflficiency, or disparage the excellence 
of holy writ. Least of all should diversity 
of senthTient be alledged, for it does not orig- 
inate in the scriptures themselves, but in the 
imbecility of the understanding — in the freedom 
of the will — in the pride of passion — and in the 
inveteracy of prejudice. Deists, nevertheless, who 
are expert in observing what may be construed 
iato an objection against revealed religion, 
declaim loudly on this topic. On account of 
the diversity of sentiment which obtains, they 
charge the Bible with being defective in a species 
of intelligence it never pretended to communicate. 
Unincumbered with human additions, and un- 
contaminated with foreign mixtures, it furnishes 
the believer with that information which illu- 
minates the understanding — meliorates the temper 
—-invigorates the moral feelings, and improves 
the heart. All scriptwe given by inspiration, 
is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor- 
rection, for instruction in righteousness, that 
the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly 
furnished unto all good works. ^^ Heaven and 
Hell are not more distant (says Lord Lyttleton,) 
^han the benevolent spirit of the Gospel and the 
malignant spirit of party. The most impious wars 


ever made were called holy wars. He who hates 
another man for not being a christian is himself 
not a christian. Christianity breathes love and 
peace and good will to men. 

3. Let not any one presume to exempt himself 
from an attention to religion, because some of 
its tenets seem involved in difficulties. 

Upon articles which promote the felicity, and 
secure the salvation of mankind, the scripture 
is clear and decisive. The curiosity of the 
inquisitive, and the restlessness of the ingenious, 
have involved some subjects of theological dis- 
quisition in obscurity. Dr Paley, speaking 
of the disputes which distract the religious world, 
happily remarks, " that the rent has not reached 
the foundation.'^ Incontrovertible are the facts 
upon which the fabric of natural and revealed 
religion is reared ; and the gates of hell shall 
not prevail against it ! He who seriously and 
dispassionate^ searches the scriptures, must con- 
fess that they tea-ch, in explicit terms, that God 
rules over all — that man is fallen from his prime- 
val rectitude — that the Messiah shed his blood for 
his restoration — and that in a future state rewards 
await the righteous, and punishments will be 
inflicted on the wicked. 

From the preceding sketch of the diiferent 
opinions of Christians, it appears that contro- 
'ersies have been chiefly agiteited concerning the 
W 2 


person of Christ — the subject of the divine 
favour — and the article of church government. 
But what was the specific matter of disputation ? 
Not whether Christ has actually appeared on 
earth to introduce a new dispensation ; nor whe- 
ther God is disposed to shew grace or favour 
towards fallen man ; nor whether the professors 
of religion ought to submit themselves to certain 
regulations, or church government, for mutual 
benefit. These are truths revered b}^ every de- 
nomination, and the only point of contention has 
been, w^hat particular views are to be entertained 
of these interesting facts. Tiie Trinitarian, the 
Arian, and the Socinian, equally acknowledge 
the divinity of Christ's mission, or that he w^as 
the Messiah predicted by the ancient prophets ; 
and the chief point of dispute is, whether this 
Messiah be a man highly inspired — or one of 
the angelic order — or a being possessed of the 
attributes of Deity. The Calvinist, the Armi- 
nian, and the Baxterian also, each of them firmly 
Relieves that the grace of God hath appeared, 
and differ only respecting the wideness of its 
extent, and the mode of its communication. Sim- 
ilar observations might be transferred to the 
subject of church government, and the adminis- 
tration of ceremonies. But sufficient has been 
said to shew that the differences subsisthig be- 


tween Christians do not affect the truth of Chris- 
tianity, nor hazard the salvation of mankind. 

Faint indeed is the light thrown by revelation 
on certain subjects. Yet no lover of righteous- 
ness need distress himself, whether he be mistaken 
in leading a life of virtue and piety. Practical 
religion lies within a narrow compass. The say- 
ings of Christ embrace almost every part of 
human conduct, though his disciples have been 
fementabJy deficient in paying them a proper at- 
tention. Jesus Christ assures us, that to love 
the Lord our God with all our hearts, is the 
Jirst and great commandment — and that the 
second is like unto it — to love our neighbour as 
ourselves. They entertain mistaken views of the 
glorious gospel, who consider it inimical to the 
prosperity of the human race. Descending from 
a God of love, and presented to us by his 
only begotten Son — every mind should have 
opened for its reception. Wrangling should 
have been prevented by the clearness of its fun- 
damental doctrines, hesitation about obedience 
precluded by the justice of its precepts, and the 
beauty of its examples should have captivated the 
most indifferent hearers. 

Tlie perplexity in which some religious tenets 
are involved, instead of alienating us from the 
practice of righteousness, should quicken our 


enquiries after truth. Indeed, upon a serious 
and intelligent individual, it produces this effect* 
Having in his eye the scripture as the only 
standard^ he is the more alive to free enquiry^ 
when he contemplates the diversity of religious 
systems ; and more accurately scrutinizes their 
nature, examines their foundations, and ascertains 
their tendencies. This mode of arriving at truth, 
is attended with advantages. Our knowledge 
is enlarged — our candour established — and our 
belief founded on the basis of conviction. Such 
a believer reflects an honour upon the denomina- 
tion with which he connects himself. For feel- 
ing the difRculties of religious investigation, he 
presumes not to charge with heresy those of his 
fellow Christians who differ from him ; nor is 
he such a stranger to the perfections of the 
Deity, and to the benign spirit of his religion,^ 
as to consign them over to the regions of future 
miser}'". Of Mr. Gouge, an eminent Noncon- 
formist minister, it is thus honorably recorded 
by the great and good Aixhbishop Tilictson — 
*^ He allowed others to differ from him even in 
opinions tiiat w^ere very dear to him, and pro- 
-vrided men did but /ear Gody and xvork righte- 
Gusness, he loved them heartily, how distant so- 
ever from him in judgment about things less 
aecessary ^ in all which he is very worthy to be 
3t patterEt to- meu of alt persuasions." And Lord 


Chatham has observed — " It is said that religious 
sects have done great mischief, when they were 
not kept under restraint ; but history affords no 
proof that sects have ever been mischievous, when 
they were not oppressed and persecuted by the 
ruhng church.^' 

4. Let us reflect with pleasure in how many 
important articles of belief all Christians are 

Respecting the origin of evil, the nature of 
the human soul, the existence of an intermediate 
state, and the duration of future punishment to- 
gether with points of a similar kind, opinions 
have been, and in this imperfect state will ever 
contiuue to be different. But on articles of faith, 
far more interesting in themselves, and far more 
conducive to our welfare, are not all Christians 
united ! We all believe in the perfections and 
government of one God — in the degradation of 
human nature through transgression — in the un- 
speakable utility of the life, death, and sufferings 
of Jesus Christ — in the assurance of the divine 
aid — in the necessity of exercising repentance, 
and of cultivating holiness — in a resurrection from 
the dead — and in a future state of rewards and 
punishment. Cheerfully would I enter into a 
minute illustration of this part of the subject ; 
but the devout and intelligent Dr. Price has dis- 
cussed it, in his first sermon on the Christian 


Doctrine, to which Discoure I refer the reader,, 
and recommend it to his repeated perusal. Many 
Christians are more anxious to know wherein 
their brethren differ from them, than wherein 
they are agreed. This betraj^s a propensity to 
division, and bears an unfavourable aspect on 
mutual forbearance, one of the highest embel- 
lishments of the Christian character. An enlight- 
ened zeal is compatible with religious modera- 
tion, \vhich is more particularly opposed to the 
furious spirit of uncharitableness, the gangrene 
of genuine Christianity. From the shy and dis- 
tant deportment of men of different persuasions 
towards each other, a stranger to them all, 
would with difficulty be brougiU to believe that 
they looked up to the same God — confided in n.e 
same saviour — and were bending their steps lo- 
wards the sa?7ie state of future happiness. To 
me, often has the Christian world had the ap- 
pearance of a subdued country _^ portioned out into 
innumerable districts,, through the pride and 
ambition of its conquerors, and each district oc- 
cupied in retarding each other^s prosperity. Alas ! 
what would the Prince oj Peace say, were he 
to descend and sojourn among us !. Would he 
not reprove our unhallowed w^armth — upbraid 
us with our divisions — chide our unsocial tempers 
— and exhort to amity and concord ? " This 
antipathy to your fellow Christiansj^" would he 


say, " is not the effect of my religion, but pro- 
ceeds from the want of it. My doctrines, pre- 
cepts, and example, have an opposite tendency. 
Had you learned of me, you would have never 
uttered against your brethren terms of reproach, 
nor lifted up the arm of persecution. The new 
commandment I gave unto you w^as — That you 
love one another,'*^ 

The ingenious Mr. Seed (a clergyman) ob- 
serves, ^^ Our own particular darling tenets, by 
which we are distinguished from the bulk of 
Christians, we look upon as our private inclo- 
sures, our private walks, in which w^e have pro- 
perty exclusive of others, and which we take care 
to cultivate, beautify, and fence in against all 
invaders. To the received notions, however im- 
portanty we are more indifferent, as the common 
field and public walks, which lie open to every 
body.'' Were the professors of the Gospel once 
fully sensible how they coincide on the funda- 
mental facts of natural and revealed religion, they 
w^ould cherish with each other a more friendly 
intercourse, unite more cordially to propagate 
religion both at home and abroad, and a superior 
degree of success would crown their combined 
exertions for the purpose. Much is it regretted 
that disputes have generally been agitated con- 
cerning unessential points, and with an acrimony 
diametrically opposite to the Gospel of Jesus 


Christ. That controversy is in itself injurious 
to truth, no intelligent individual will insinuate. 
When conducted with ability and candor, light 
has been struck out, errors have been rectified, 
and information, on interesting subjects, has been 
communicated to the public. But alas ! contro- 
A'ersy has been perverted to evil purposes. To 
many who have engaged in theological discussion, 
victor}^, not truth, apppears to have been the ob- 
ject of pursuit. Seduced by unworthy motives, 
they swerved from the line of conduct prescribed 
by an apostle, and contended boisterously rather 
t\i2in earnestly for the faith once delivered to 
the saints. Fiery controversialists, hurried away 
by impetuousness of temper, or exasperated by 
the opposition of an a,cute and pertinacious adver- 
sary, have disgraced the polemic page by oppro- 
brious terms and ungenerous insinuations. Thus 
are infidels furnished with an additional objection 
to revealed religion — the investigation of interest- 
ing truth terminates in mutual reproaches ; and 
Christians of different sentiments, driven still 
farther from each other, are the less fitted to 
associate together in the common mansions of 
the blest ! To this pernicious mode of agitating 
disputes^ there, are, however, exceptions ; and in- 
stances of this kind might be adduced. In the de- 
fence of Christianit}^, and in the support of its par- 
ticular doctrines, writers have stood forth, whose 


temper and liberality breathe the genuine spirit of 
the Christian Religion. Doddridge's Letters to the 
Author of Christiauity not founded in argument. 
Bishop Watson^s Reply to Gibbon, and Camp- 
bell's Answer to Hume on Miracles, are ex- 
amples of the candour with which religious 
controversies should be invariably conducted. In 
an enlightened age like the present, this concili- 
ating spirit was to be expected ; and we indulge 
the pleasing hope, that times still more auspicious 
to truth are approaching, when the amicable dis- 
cussion of every doctrine supposed to be contain- 
ed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall obtain an 
universal prevalence : 

Seize upon truth where'er 'tis found, 
Among your friends — among your foes. 

On Christian or on Heathen ground, 
The flower's di-vine where'er it grows, 
Neglect the prickles and assume the rose. 


^^ No way whatsoever,^' says the immmortal 
Locke, " that I shall w^alk in against the dictates 
of my conscience, will ever bring me to the 
mansions of the blessed, I may grow rich 
by an art that I take no delight in — I may be 
cured of some disease by remedies I have no faith 
in, but I cannot be saved by a religion that I dis- 
trust, and a worship that I abhor. It is in vain for 
an unbeliever to take up the outward shadow of 


auQther man's profession ; faith only and inward 
jsincerity are the things that procure acceptance 
with God.'> 

Truth, indeed, moral and divine, flourishes 
only in the soil of freedom. There it shoots up 
jand sheds its fruits for the healing of the nations. 
Civil and religious liberty are two of the greatest 
earthly blessings which heaven can bestow on 
nian. Thrice happy are the people who experi- 
ence the benefits of good government, unburden- 
ed by the impositions of oppression, and who en- 
joy the sweets of liberty, unembittered by anar- 
chy and licentiousness. 

5. We should allow to others the same right 
of private judgment in religious matters, wliich 
we eiaim and exercise ourselves. 

It is replied — ^^ We forbid not the sober use 
of this privilege.'^ But who can estimate the 
sobriety of another man's speculations ? and by 
reprobating the opinions which a serious brother 
Hiay happen to entertain in consequence of free 
investigation, we tacitly condemn that operation 
of his mind which induced him to take up such 
tenets. This is the spirit of Popery in disguise. 
-Cautjousiy €xer<iising his reason, and devoutly 
examining the sacred records, let every man be 
fully persuaded in his own mind. This was 
^he advice of Paul to the primitive Christians, 
£.rA no ^id)stant^l reason has been, or ever 


will be given for its being abandoned. For a- 
Protestant, who demands and exercises the rights 
of private judgment, to deny it to fiis brother^ ig^ 
an unpardonable inconsistency* It is also an a<it 
of injustice, and, therefore, contrary to rea^oHj, 
condemned by revelation, and prejudicial to the 
best interests of mankind. He w^ho insults your 
person, steals your property, or injures your repu-- 
tation, subjects himself to the punishment whicia 
the law denounces against such offences. What 
then can we think of the man who attempts t^-^ 
rob you of the right of private judgment--a^ 
jewel of inestimable price — a blessing of the first 
magnitude ! Were we once to relinquish think- 
ing for ourselves^ and indolently to acquiesce in 
the representations of others, our understandings 
might soon groan beneath the absurdities of other 
men's creeds, and our attention be distracted by 
the perplexed nature of our religious services^- 
Hitherto, persons have never been wanting un- 
reasonable enough to impose on their brethren 
articles of faith. The late Mr. Robinson,- of 
Cambridge, an avowed foe to ecclesiastical tyran- 
ny, has traced its sources with his usual acuteness, 
and pronounces them to be power — law — patron- 
age — office — the abuse of learning, and mistaken 
piety. These pretences for domination over con*-^ 
science are plausible, and by their speciousness 
millions have been deceived. But explain to a 


man of common sense the nature and foundation 
•f religious liberty, and the infatuation cease?. 
He must perceive that the Father of spirits hath 
authorized no man to dictate to another what 
he is to believe — much less to impose his dogmas 
Cinder pain of eternal punishment : 

Let Caesar's dues be ever paid, 

To Caesar and his tlirone ; 
But consciences and soufs were made, 

To be the Lord's alone. 


To use the language of the illustrious Wash- 
ington — ^^ It affords edifying prospects indeed to 
see Christians of different denominations, dwell 
together in more charity, and conduct themselves 
in respect to each other with a more Christian 
like spirit, than ever they have done in any for- 
mer age !" 

Tfhy even of yourselves judge ye not what 
is right ? was the language in which Christ 
reproached the Pharisees ; and j>rove all things 
was Paul's exhortation to the church at Thes- 
salonica. These passages alone prove, be- 
yond the possibility of dispute, that both 
Christ and Paul were patrons of free en- 
quiry. Free enquiry, even in its fullest ex- 
tent, has been found serviceable to the interests 
of religion. Hereby error ceases to be perpet 


uatecl, and truth emerges from those shades of 
darkness with which she has been enveloped 
by the artful and designing. Survey the 
page of ecclesiastical history — mark the in- 
tervals of languor, when the right of private 
judgment lay dormant — then was the church of 
Christ debilitated and pestered with an heteroge- 
neous mass of errors. Excellently is it remarked 
m a periodical publication — *' No man can write 
down truth. Inquiry is to truth w^hat friction is 
to the diamond. It proves its hardness — adds to 
its lustre — and excites new admiration." The 
ablest advocates for Christianity confess, that by 
the attacks of its enemies provoking examination, 
it has been benefited rather than injured. To in- 
fidel writers we are indebted for Butler's profound 
Analogy. — Law's Theory of Natural and Re- 
vealed Religion — Campbell's Dissertation on 
Miracles — Newton's Work on the Prophecies — 
Watson's Apology for the Bible — and other per- 
formances, which reflect as much honour on the 
names of their respective authors, as they have 
rendered service to the cause they espoused. 
<^ Every species of intolerance," says Arch- 
deacon Paley, ^^ which enjoins suppression 
and silence, and every species of persecution 
which inforces such injunctions, is averse to the 
progress of truth, forasmuch as it causes that to 
be fixed by one set of men at one time, which is 
X 2 


much better, and with much more probability 
of success, left to the independent and progressive 
enquiries of separate individuals. Truth results 
from discussion a^id from controversy, is investi- 
gated by the labour and researches of private 
persons ; whatever therefore prohibits these, ob- 
structs that industry and that liberty, which it is 
the common interest of mankind to promote." 

*^ 6. Let us be careful to treat those who differ 
from us with kindnes." 

Believing those who diifer from us to be 
the disciples of error, they have a claim on 
our compassion. And as a further incentive to a 
lenient conduct, it should be remembered, that 
we differ from them just as muck as they do 
from us. By either party, therefore, no anathe- 
ma should be hurled, and a proneness to per- 
secution should be eradicated. The Quakers, in 
their address to James the Second, on his ac- 
cession,4old him, that they understood he was no 
more of the established religion than themselves : 
^^ We therefore hope (say they) that thou wilt 
allow us that liberty which thou takest thyself.^ 
The terms schism and heresy are in the mouths 
of many, and it is no unfrequent case to find that 
those who use them most, least understand theii 
real import. Dr. Campbell (who- favoured 
the public with an excellent translation of the 
Four Gospels) thus concludes a learned: disserta^ 


tion on the subject : ^* No person (says he) who 
m the sphit of candour and charity adheres to 
that which, to the best of his judgment is right, 
though in this opinion he should be mistaken, is 
in the scriptural sense either schismatic or here- 
tic : and he, on the contrary,, whatever sect he 
belongs to, is more entitled to those odious ap- 
pellations who is most apt to throw the imputa- 
tion upon others.'^ Would to God, that this ob- 
servation were engraven on the memory of every 
individual in Christendom I"^ 

Upon the advantages arising from Christian 
moderation we might largely expatiate, and to 
detail the evils which have flown from an unen- 
lightened and furious zeal, would be t(i.st8in mj'- 
page with blood. Bishop Hall, in the last centu- 
ry, wrote a treatise on moderation, and has dis- 
cussed the subject with that eloquence and ability 

* Having had the honour of attending the lectures both q£ 
Tir, Campbe/i cind T>r. Gerard, at Aberdeen, in the year 1790,, 
the autlior takes this opportunity of expressing his obligation- 
for the instruction received on many important topics ; and; 
particularly for that a7niabk spirit of candour, which induced ' 
them fairly to state opposite opinions, and never to discover: 
the least trait of uncharitableness, which is the disgrace 
of Cliristianity, The Spanish proverb says, '' T.q parents— tO: 
teachers — anditCL Gos, all ^u^.dsniy^Tit cs^nnot iadiilg^.tc©.) niodii 


which are peculiar to all his writings. But this 
great and good man, towards the close of the 
same treatise, forgetting the principles which he 
had been inculcating, devotes one solitary page 
to the cause of hitolerance. This page he con- 
cludes with these remarkable expressions — " Mas- 
ter Calvin did xvell approve himself to God's 
church, in bringing Servetus to the stake at 
Geneva." Blessed Jesus ! how art thou wound- 
ed in the house of thy friends ! After this deplor- 
able instance of human inconsistency, should not 
the most eminent of th}'' followers bew^are, lest, 
by indulging even in fhe slightest degree a spirit 
of intolerance, they be insensibly led either to 
adopt or applaud practices which, under the spe- 
cious mask of an holy zeal, outrage the first prin- 
ciples of humanity ? To love our oxvn party only^ 
is (to use the words of the excellent Dr. Doddridge) 
nothing else than self-love reflected. The most 
zealous partizans, therefore, are revelling in self- 

Christian?, indeed, of almost every denomi- 
nation, appear at times to have forgotten, that 
harshness widens rather than closes the breaches 
which diversity of sentiment may have occa- 
sioned. Coersive measures reach not the mind, 
and the issuing edicts to extort assent to specu- 
lative tenets, is the bombast of civil authority. 


Truth rests on evidence. But what has evidence 
to do with exertions of power, implements of 
torture, and scenes of devastation ? From the 
commencement of the fourth century, down to 
that illustrious 9era of the reformation, wide and 
unmolested w^as the empire of ignorance over 
the human mind. At Rome, for a series of age?, 
the chair of infallibility was filled by a suc- 
cession of intolerant and domineering Pon- 
tiifs. Systems of cruelty were devised and prac- 
tised, for the support of their most holy faith* 
Out of that once respectable capital of the 
world, the demon of persecution rushed forth, 
brandished his torch, and deluged the church of 
Christ with the blood of her martyrs. Impa- 
tient for the destruction of the human race, he 
flew into different regions of the earth, framed 
racks, fixed stakes, erected gibbets, and, like a 
pestilence, scattered around him consternation 
and death ! Shall the mild and evangelical genius 
of Protestantism countenance a temper which 
incites to such execrable deeds, and enrolls the 
names of the perpetrators in the callendar of the 
saints ? In this twilight state of being, to ex^ 
postulate is our province, to inveigh and per- 
secute is forbidden. The glorious Gospel of the 
blessed God prohibits rash accusations, cruel 
surmises, and malignant anathemas* Had a 


regard been paid to the golden rule. Do unto 
others as ye zvould they should do unto you, 
intolerance would never have reared its ensan- 
guined crest to affright the children of men. Ye 
knoiv not what maimer of spirit ye are of — was 
our Saviour's reprimand to the disciples, who, 
in the plenitude of their zeal, would have called 
down fire from heaven to consume the deluded 
Samaritans, Too often does a portion of this 
accursed spirit reign in the breasts of Protestants. 
Hence cen-sures are poured forth, hatreds are 
engendered,, and a preparation* for heaven is re- 
tarded. Instead, therefore, of usurping the seat 
of judgment, which the Almighty has exclu- 
sively reserved to himself, and of aiming to be- 
come the dispensers of the divine vengeance, let 
us wait the issue of all things, in deep and rever- 
ential silence. A wise and a good God will 
solemnly decide the business, when he judges 
the world in righteousness ! 

7. Let us not repine because perfect unanimity 
of religious sentiment is unattainable in this pre- 
sent state. 

A repining spirit is the source of ill temper to- 
wards those who dissent from us ; but it seems to 
be the intention of the Divine Being,- that we 
should think differently concerning certain points, 
of faith and practice. Variety marks the works 
^f God.- It is impressed throughout the circum- 


Terence of the natural, the animal, and the intel- 
lectural world* Above us, we behold the dazzling 
brightness of the sun^ the pale splendour of the 
moon, the mild twinkling of the stars, and the 
variegated colours which adorn the firmament of 
heaven ! Around us, the surface of the earth is 
diversified into a thousand beautiful forms, and 
in the animal, the vegetable, and the fossil king- 
doms, no two individual productions are perfectly 
alike ! Within us, upon the slightest €xamina- 
tion, we discern our minds stamped with an ori- 
ginal peculiarity. From sensekss idiotism, up 
to the sagacity of Newton, how numerous ar-e 
the gradations of intellect ! Minds are of various 
sizes- Their capacities, habits, and views, are 
never in strict conformity with each other. In 
some degree, therefore, diversity of opinion 
flows from the structure of oiir understanding. 
To fall out with this branch of the dispensations 
of God is to arraign his wisdom. Doubtless he 
might have shed upon us such a degree of 
light, that we should have seen as with one eye, 
and have been altogether of one mind. But 
the Supreme Being has otherwise ordered it ; 
and with becoming resignation let us acquiesce 
in the propriety of the appointment. ^^ If it must 
be with us (says good Bishop Hall) as with two 
famous rivers in the East, that they run three- 
' core miles together in one channel, with their 


waters divided in very colour from each other, 
yet let it be (as it is with them) without noise, 
without violence." And in modern times Lord 
Mansfield, that luminary of the law declares that, 
*^ There is nothing certainly more unreasonable, 
more inconsistent with the rights of human na- 
ture, more contrary to the spirit and precepts of 
the Christian religion, more iniquitous and unjust, 
more impolitic than Per^ecwfzoTi / It is against 
natural religion, revealed religion, and sound 
policy !" 

Innumerable and unavailable have been the at- 
tempts made in the successive ages of the church 
to produce unanimity of sentiment. For this 
purpose legislatures have decreed acts, poured 
forth torrents of blood, and perpetrated (iee^s at 
which humanity sickens, shudders, and turns 
away with disgust. Francis the First, king of 
France, used to declare, ^^ that if he thought 
the blood in his arm was tainted with the Lu- 
theran heresy, he would have it cut off, and 
that he would not spare even his own chil- 
dren, if they entertained sentiments contrary to 
the Catholic Church." Pride in one person, pas- 
sion in a second, prejudice in a third, and in a 
fourth investigation, generates difference of opi- 
nion. Should diversity be deemed an evil, it ig •' 
incumbent on rational beings, and congenial with 
the dignity of the Christian profession, to im- 


prove it to valuable purposes. It is a fact, that 
different denominations have, in every age of the 
church, kept a jealous eye over each other ; and 
hereby the scriptures, the common standard t» 
which they appealed for the truth of their re- 
spective tenets, have been preserved in greater 
purity. It may also be added, that diversity of 
opinion quickens our enquiries after truth, and 
gives scope for the exercise of our charity, which 
in one passage of the sacred writings is pro- 
nounced superior to faith and hope, and in an- 
other passage termed the bond of perfectncss* 
Much improvement have good men extracted 
from the common evils of life, by these evils 
giving rise to graces and virtues which other- 
wise, perhaps, would have had no existence ; or 
at least, would have been faintly called forth into 
action. To perceive the justice of this observa-^ 
tion, it is not necessary that we be profound con- 
templators of human affairs. 

Under the accumulated difficulties of faith and 
practice, by which we are embarassed in this 
sublunary state of imperfection, we should medi- 
tate on the doctrine of a providence, which ad- 
ministers the richest consolation. The dominion 
exercised by the Supreme Being over the works 
of his hands, is neither partial as to its objects^ 
narrow in its extent, nor transitory in its duration. 
Unlike earthly monarchs, who expire in their 


turn, and who are successively borne into the 
tombs of their ancestors, the King of Saints 
liveth and reigneth for ever and ever ! Evils 
indeed, have entered the world, and still continue 
to distress it. But these evils have not crept into 
the system unknown to its great Author ; and the 
attributes of Deity ensures their extirpation. Our 
rejoicing is — the Lord God omnipotent reigneth ! 
Qlorious, therefore, must be the termination of 
the divine dispensations. The august period is 
predicted in sacred writ, and lies concealed in 
the womb of time. Distant may be its arrival, 
but its blessings once realized, will compensate 
the exercise of your faith, and the trial of your 
patience : 

** One part, one little part, we dimly scan, 
Thro' the dark medium of life's fev'rish dream. 
Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan, 
If but that little part incongruous seem ; 
Nor is that part perhaps what mortals deem : 
Oft from apparent ills our b'essings rise — 
O 1 then renounce that impious self-esteem, 
That aims to trace the secrets of the skies 5 
For thou art but of dust — be humble and ^e *wise.^* 


The Dissertations of Dr. Price (especially that 
on Providence) are deserving of attention. An 
elegant little work, also, entitled. Intimations 
md Evidences of a Future State, by T. Watson^ 



cannot fail of imparting consolation to the serious 

Finally — penetrated with a sense of the im- 
perfection of this present life, let us be cautious 
how w^e form our religious sentiments, w^atch 
unremittingly over our tempers and conduct^ 
and aspire to that better world, where pure and 
wiadulterated truth shall be disclosed to our 
view ! 

Of all the subjects presented to the human 
mind, religion claims the first and the greatest 
attention. If there be a God, a Providenee^ a 
'Saviour y and a Future State of Retribution^ 
these weighty truths ought to be pressing upon 
our minds, and presiding over our conduct. To 
famiharize ourselves with their evidences, to lay 
open our souls to their energy, and prom.ote, by 
every honourable method, their spread and 
establishment among mankind, should be our 
ambition. Zeal is an elevated and an useful 
passion. It is forcibl}^ and repeatedly enjoined 
in the sacred waitings. It fornix the leading 
trait of excellence in the best and most enlight- 
ened characters. Indeed, an individual can 
scarcely be pronounced truly good, except he 
possesses a portion of this celestial fire. But let 
us be careful that our w^armth be temperate 
and regular. Zeal, confined within the limits 
prescribed by reason and scripture, is attended 


Avith blessed consequences. Loosened from 
these restraints, like the devouring conflagration, 
it involves in one undistinguishable ruin the 
victims of its fury, and triumphs in the desolation 
it has effected. How different is the Christian, 
influenced by a zeal purely etwngelicaly from 
the monster who is either swolen with the venom 
of uncharitableness, or is pregnant with persecu- 
tion for conscience sake ! " Mistake me not 
/(says good Richard Baxter) I do not slight or- 
I thodoxyy nor jeer at the name ; but only disclose 
i the pretences of devilish zeal in pious or seem- 
\ ingly pious men. The slanders of some of these^ 
; and the bitter opprobrious speeches of others, 
^^}?vp more effectually done the Devil's service, 
i imder the name of orthodoxy and zeal for truths 
( that the malignant scorners of godliness." Thus 
\ also the pious Matthew Henry declares, • that 
[ of all the Christian graces — ZEAL is most 
\ apt to turn sour. And Dr. Doddridge, in his 
} Family Expositor^ has this remark — ^^ Wisely 
1 did Christ silence the suspicious praises of an 
\ unclean spirit ; and vain is all the hope, which 
( men build merely on those orthodox professions 
\ of the most important truths, in which Satan 
] himself could vie with them." May these ob- 
/ servations be remembered by zealots of every de- 
\_ scription ! 

Indeed, the light and darkness now blende 


together, instead of generating a spirit of scepti- 
cism, or precipitating us into acts of violence, 
should impel us to look for the nezv heavens and 
the neiv earthy zvherein dwelleth righteousness. 
What ye know not now, ye shall know hereof- 
tevy was our Saviour's declaration to his dis- 
ciples, respecting an ev*ent which occurred 
whilst he continued to sojourn amongst them. 
It is, therefore, reasonable to believe that we 
shall not remain ignorant of matters of superior 
importance, when the proper period of commu- 
nicating higher degrees of information arrives. 
We may, however, be assured, that the Spirit 
of God guides all good men into necessary 
truth. This is a sentiment in which the wisest 
of mankind concur ; and upon which learned 
divines, after their most penetrative researches, 
are obliged ultimately to rest, A venerable and 
distinguished Christian father pronounced the 
greatest heresy to be a wicked life, Devoutl}^ 
is it wished that those who are clamorous about 
speculative tenets^, would level their artillery 
more against the violation of the preceptive part 
of our religion. 

The eloquent Saurin pointedly exclaims— i 
" Why are not ecclesiastical bodies as rigid and 
severe against heresies of practice as they are 
against heresies of speculation ? Certainl}^ there / 
are heresies in morality as well as in theology* / 


Councils and synods reduce the doctrines of faith 
to certain prepositional points, and thunder ana- 
themas against all who refuse to subscribe them. 
They say, cursed be he who doth not believe the 
divinity of Christ ; cursed be he who doth not 
believe hypostatical union, and the mystery of 
the cross ; cursed be he who denies the inward 
operations of grace, and the irresistible efficacy 
j of the Spirit. I wish they would make a few 
/ ranons against moral heresies. How many are 
i there of this kind among our people !" These 
\ observations made by the intelligent Saurin, re- 

applicable to the Protestants in our times. Their 

. specting the refugee Protestants in Holland, are 

' anathemas are directed more against error than 
(1 against unrighteousness. Whereas vice is the 
Hiore formidable enemy to the welfare of mankind* 
To the word of God, therefore, let us have con- 
stant recourse, and thence derive the doctrine 
which is. according to godliness^ pure as the light 
of heaven and refreshing as the dew of the morn- 
ing ! The Gospel of Jesus Christ, justly under- 
stood and cordially believed, enlightens the mind 
— calms the troubled conscience — rectifies de- 
praved propensities — and introduces us into the 
habitation of the spirits of just men made 

But, alas ! mankind, instead of ascertaining 
^\hat is truth ^ and hozv it can best exert its in- 


fluence over the several departmejits of conduct^ 
are occupied in schemes of interested ambition, 
or sunk into criminal indifference. Upon death 
they seldom bestow a serious thought. Though 
awful in its nature^ frequent in its recurrence, 
and alarming in its consequences, it leaves on 
their minds no impression. Without emotion - 
they behold their fellow-creatures snatched f|pm 
off the busy theatre of action, and driven, one af- 
ter another, either by disease or accident, into 
the house appointed for all living ! Upon the 
decease indeed of relatives and friends, they 
heave a sigh, utter an exclamation, shed a tear, 
but clothing themselves in the garments of sor- 
row, the tragedy is quickly over. Re-assuming 
their former views, and laying their minds open 
afresh to the dominion of their passions, they 
return with avidity to the occupations and amuse- 
ments of life. Thus proceeds the tenor of their 
existence on earth, till they also are swept away 
into the receptacles of the dead. But why are 
men thus forgetful of their destination ? Why 
iose sight of the end for which their benevo- 
lent Creator breathed into their nostrils the 
breath of life ^ Why not be making diligent 
preparation for the hour of dissolution, W'hich 
closes the scene of their activity, and terminates 
their state of trial ? 


PilgrimeSy and sojourners on earthy we are 
hastening to an eternal world, and a few more 
fleeting years will place even the youngest of us 
before the tribunal of Heaven. Whether we 
can abide the awful scrutiny which shall be in- 
stituted at the last great day, '^ for which all 
other days were made," is a question of infinite 
importance, and intimately concerns rational 
and accountable creatures. Amidst the din of 
controversy, and the jarrings of adverse par- 
ties, the opinions of the head are often substi- 
tuted for the virtues of the heart, and thus is 
practical religion deplorably neglected. Flee- 
ing, therefore, those pernicious disputes, which 
damp our devotion, and contract our benevo- 
lence, let us cultivate the means by which our 
faith may be invigorated, our hope enlivened, 
our charity confirmed, and our afl^ections ele- 
vated to the things tvhich are above, xvhere 
Christ sitteth at the right hand of God / 
The veil now thrown over the preliminary 
state, and concealing from our view celestial 
objects, shall be speedily removed. Then bid- 
ding adieu to prejudices which darken the 
understanding, irritate the temper, and deform 
the spirit, we shall embrace each other with 
perfect love, and shall be astonished at ourselves 
for having been on earth so addicted to unprofit- 
able disputations^ and so backward to the exercise 


of brotherly kindness, and of Christian charity. 
We shall, indeed, be ready to exclaim in the 
words of holy Mr. Baxter — ^^ Where are now our 
different judgments, reproachful names, divided 
spirits,'' exasperated passions, strange looks, and 
uncharitable censures ? Now we are all of one 
judgment, of one namcy of one hearty house , 
and glory ! O sweet reconciliation ; Happy uni- 
on ! Now the Gospel shall no more be dishonour- 
ed by our foll}^ !" 

Almighty God ! look down on thine erring 
creatures. Pity their darkness and imperfection. 
Direct them into the truth as it is in Jesits, 
Banish from their hearts the bitterness of censure. 
Cherish in their minds a spirit of moderation and 
love towards their fellow Christians. To their 
zeal add knowledge, and to their knowledge 
charity. Make them humble under the difficult 
ties which adhere to their faith, and patient under 
the perplexities which accompany their practice. 
Guide them by thy counsel, and, through the 
mediation of thy Son Jesus Christ, receive them 
into thy kingdom and glory. 

The Work shall conclude with a Recapitulatory 
Table, drawn up with a view of impressing its 
contents on the minds of the Rising Generation. 





CHRISTIANITY U a Re-velation from God hy his cfon Jesus 

Christ — consists oj Doctrines, Precepts, Positii^e I/istitutions, Rc' 
nvarJs and Punishments — and its R'vidences are Prophecy, Mira- 
cles., Internal Character, together ivith its rapid Propagation^ both 
among Jeius and Gentiles. 

Its Professors hold various opinions, and are thus denominated : 


According to their opinions respecting the person of Christ, 

TRINITARIANS, from the I-^tin word Trinitus, which de- 
notes a threetold unity in the Godhead. 

SABELLIANS, from^ who lived in the third centu- 
ry, and held a modal or nominal Trinity. 

ARIANS, from Arius, a popular divine of Alexandria, who 
flourished about the year 315. ^ 

SOCINIANS, from Faust us Socinus, who died near Cracow, 
in Poland about the year 1604. 


According to their opinions respecting the means and measure of 
God"* 5 Faruor, 

CALVINISTS, from John Cal-vin, a Reformer, who flourisli- 
cd at Geneva about 1540. 

ARMINIANS, from James Arminius, the disciple of Beza, 
who flourished about 1 600. 

BAXTERIANS, from Richard Baxter, an eminent Puritan, 
who died in the year 1 69 1 . 

ANTINOMIANS, from two Greek terms, cc-jti against, and 
^o^to'; the moral L^w. 


According to tlieir opinions respecting Church Government and 
the Adminisrration of Ceremonies, 
PAPISTS, from the Latin word for Pope, Papa, signifying- 
a Father, or Parent. 


GREEK CHURCH, from their native language, which is 
the Greek tongue. 

PROTESTANTS, from their protesting against a decree of 
Charles the Fifth, 1529. 

EPISCOPALIANS, from Episcopus, tlie Latin term for 
Bishop or Inspector, of a Diocese. 

DISSENTERS, from the Latin word dissent io, to disagree 
with, or dissent from any Person or Body. 

PRESBYTERIANS, from the Greek Ufio-^vlipcc signifying 
Elder, Senior, or Presbyter. 

INDEPENDENTS, from the independency of each Church in 
its own discipline or government. 

BAPTISTS, from the Greuk verb Bx7rli:o signifying to bap- 
tize, dip, ur immerse. 

Pj^DOBAPTlSTS, from the Greek Uoac and Bct7r'?A» a bap- 
tizer of infants. 

SCOTCH CHURCH, or Kirk, established in Scot/and, by 
means of Jolm Knox, who died 1572. 

SECEDERS, from the Latin secedo, signifying to secede or 
withdraw oneself from any Person or Body. 



QUAKERS, from the agitation with which their first preach- 
ers addressed their auditors. 

METHODISTS, from the Methodical strictness of their 
religious conduct. 

JUMPERS, from the act ^i Jumping used in their religious 

MORAVIANS, from Moravia, the country whence they 
first arose. 

UNIVERSALISES, from the belief that all men will be 
fnaily happy. 

SANDEMANIANS, from Rolert -Sj/tc^^wj;?, a popular writer 
amongst them. 

SABBATARL^NS, from their observance of the Jetviif: 
Sabbat hy or seventh day. 



■■'■■■ • ' "■" ) I m -" **. 

HUTCHINSONIANS, from Jobn Hutckimon, born in York- 
shire, in the year 1772. 

MUGGLRTONIANS, from John Muggleton, who lived in 
the days of Cromwell. 

MYSTICS, from uu(TTtKo^ a Greek word importing a secret 
jnysterious meaning. 

SWEDfiNBORGIANS, from Emanue! Snvedenhorg, who died 
in London, in the year 1772. 

MILL KN ASIANS, from the Latin miUe^ a thousand, the 
years of Chnst's future reign upon earth. 






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